Graffiti and street art have increasingly become an integral part of Berlin’s urban landscape. Artist and illustrator Michel Carloni showcases his favourites from across the German capital.
Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, street art has spread like wildfire across the city, sometimes covering whole facades and bringing back to life otherwise run-down, neglected buildings of the communist era.
Graffiti has existed since ancient times; the earliest forms include prehistoric cave murals depicting hunting scenes and wildlife. In Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome graffiti was carved on street walls and monuments.
A permanent gallery
In Berlin, besides the remaining section of the Wall, left as a memorial and given to artists to paint as a permanent gallery, graffiti painters have more tended to target the isolated empty facades of crumbling buildings.
Sometimes the work is commissioned by the municipality, private shopkeepers or property owners, although, more often it is the spontaneous initiative of artists who wish to display their work in public locations to reach a larger audience.
The techniques employed are many, though spray paint and markers are the most commonly used materials. Following is a selection what I consider to be the most outstanding graffiti works to date in Berlin.