Berlin Street Art: Unicorns, Cryptic Letters, and Organic Vegetables

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When it comes to street art, Berlin is a city that never disappoints. Beyond the famous murals of the East Side Gallery, the entire city is a canvas for vibrant and eclectic artworks. From jaw-dropping paintings to enigmatic tags, Berlin’s street art scene is as diverse as its neighborhoods. Let’s take a closer look at some of the iconic and distinctive artworks that adorn the city’s streets and the artists behind them.

Berlin Kidz: Among the most renowned street art icons in Berlin, Berlin Kidz have left their mark all over the city. Their signature vertical Brazilian pichação lettering stretches across entire buildings, showcasing their larger-than-life creations. Not only are they known for their art, but also for their daredevil stunts like train-surfing. While their actions may be risky and illegal, there’s no denying the impact they’ve had on the city’s urban landscape.

Unicorns by Roy Draws: If you’ve wandered through Kreuzberg or Neukölln, chances are you’ve encountered the whimsical unicorns created by Roy Draws. These friendly equine faces express amusing and thought-provoking phrases, capturing the essence of everyday life. Roy Draws’ art has become so recognizable that he now offers merchandise featuring his iconic unicorn designs.

1UP: A prominent crew in Berlin’s graffiti scene, 1UP has earned a place in the city’s graffiti hall of fame. Their signature tag can be found on surfaces all around the city, including seemingly impossible locations that leave viewers scratching their heads in awe. Collaborating with other artists, such as Berlin Kidz, 1UP’s art often carries political messages, emphasizing unity and empowerment.

CMYK Dots: Look closely as you navigate the city, and you’ll start spotting CMYK dots adorning various surfaces. Created by artist OKSE126, these colorful circles are made using styrofoam and represent the four colors of print: cyan, magenta, yellow, and key. OKSE126’s goal was to install 1000 dots across 100 cities in 10 countries, a mission he accomplished in 2021. The city of Berlin is now a vibrant testament to his ongoing passion.

Street Yogis and Korkmännchen: As you wander the streets, pay attention to what’s perched on top of street signs – you might encounter tiny figures striking yoga poses or dancing. These delightful cork dolls bring smiles to passersby. They are the creations of Joy Fox, a yoga trainer who found inspiration in Slinkachu’s project, “Little People in the City.” Another possible source of these charming cork figures is Alte Wilde Korkmännchen. These little fellows often carry tiny flags with the logo of the booster club of a Kita called “Alte Wilde.”

ROA: While ROA’s murals might have a darker tone compared to other street artists, their impact is equally impressive. ROA gained international recognition by creating large-scale murals of animals, often depicting them in various states, including death. Drawing from childhood fascination with animal skeletons, ROA’s morbid yet realistic style brings attention to the beauty and transience of life.

BioGang: A lesser-known group but a personal favorite, BioGang combines art with a passion for organic produce. Recognizable for their tags featuring carrots and broccolis with spiral eyes, BioGang’s artwork adds a touch of whimsy to the city. What’s even more admirable is their commitment to covering up far-right graffiti, spreading a positive message of organic living and anti-fascism.

CLiT: Finally, there’s CLiT, the most enigmatic artist on our list. The origin and identity of CLiT remain shrouded in mystery, leaving observers with more questions than answers. Their ubiquitous spray-painted tag, ‘clit,’ invites speculation on its deeper meaning. Is it a commentary on the futility of searching for meaning in art, a satire on objectification, or simply a play on words? Perhaps the beauty of CLiT’s art lies in the unanswered questions, allowing each viewer to form their own interpretation.

In the vibrant world of Berlin street art, these artists and their creations contribute to the city’s rich cultural tapestry. From Berlin Kidz and their daring lettering to Roy Draws’ endearing unicorns, 1UP’s politically charged graffiti, OKSE126’s colorful dots, and the delightful street yogis and Korkmännchen, each artist brings a unique touch to the urban landscape. And let’s not forget the haunting animal murals by ROA, the organic veggie tags of BioGang, and the elusive presence of CLiT. Together, they make Berlin an open-air art gallery, inviting locals and visitors alike to immerse themselves in the creativity and expression that defines this dynamic city.

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