On the way to East Side Gallery

After the last post on sculpture, we saw another one on the way to the train station and this time, there was a lot more to like. Looking like two interlocking but broken chains, we were interested to learn that this one is actually called “Berlin”. They are created by the husband and wife team of Matschinsky-Denninghoff and Martin Matschinsky in 1987 and are meant to symbolize the brokenness between the east and the west. When the Berlin wall came down, this sculpture was subsequently bought by the city and placed here. It is actually pretty close to KaDeWe.

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Taking the U-bahn to Warschauer Str is a pleasant way to get out of the cold and see a bit more of greater Berlin. We were headed there to the East Side Gallery, which has a section of the Berlin Wall preserved. In doing so, you will also get a chance to ride across the Oberbaum Bridge or Oberbaumbrücke which is a double-deck bridge that spans Berlin’s River Spree

The lower deck is a roadway whilst the upper deck carries the train track. What caught my attention were the turrets. They look so menacing like those of a castle filled with archers that I was disappointed to find out later that they do not really serve a function. The best view of them though is really from the river side. So I had to be patient with my camera and waited till we had left the station before getting a good view of this city landmark.

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Leaving the train station, we heard from our nephew that just across from the railway tracks, there is a great clubbing spot that really rocks. Not that we were interested and besides these places do not really kick off till after dark but he said that if we were interested in street art, this place has heaps. So we thought since we were here, why not check it out. (By the way, if you are indeed interested, the nightclub is called Suicide Circus and he says it is the best!!)

Turns out it is not hard to locate at all. And as we learnt later Urban Spree, another street art hub is also here. The entire area looks like an abandoned warehouse lot (or maybe some still are) and there is obviously more than one club here. And as we expected, there was not a soul around even though it was close to midday and of course, all the doors were closed. But I can easily imagine a rave party going off all through the night here. And there was A LOT of graffiti in between some nice pieces of street art. Coincidentally, another couple appeared clutching a book on street art of some sort and going around looking at the walls. Looks like this place is not unknown after all if you are looking for an edgier place to go to other than the usual spots in Berlin.

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So, once again, here are a few which we could appreciate amidst everything else that is here.

Charles Manson by Tommy Dwane
A pioneer of graffiti and one of the first in Sweden, Dwane has been on the scene since the 80s. He is known for mixing images and symbols. This portrait of Charles Manson, with a YSL logo on his forehead instead of the swastika is one of them. He had his first solo exhibition in 2012 and it was titled “Writing my name until it matters”. This consists of a series of works where he wrote his name in layers over and over again until it becomes an interesting abstract.

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Toucan by Artur Bordalo aka Bordalo II.
Born in Lisbon, he grew up watching his grandfather, Real Bordalo, painting the city of Lisbon. His mixed media explorations using a series of collages of objects (garbage) is one way to recycle. This 3D Toucan by him is one of the best pieces of street art we saw in Berlin. It is a great piece of work.

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The Sleeping Giant By Alaniz
Alaniz works with the face and figure. Born in the Andes mountains of Argentina, he now bases himself in Berlin and using a mix of rollers and brushes, he makes very large murals. For him, it is a conversation. The places he paints speaks to him. The work he does is defined by what’s around him. He has his own Facebook page and on it, he describes himself as being a force for good.

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And another one by also Alaniz

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And finally a portrait of Alias030 by MTO
Street artist MTO (short for Mateo) is a talented hyperrealistic artist. His real identity is unknown. Little is known about him other than he was born in France and worked most of his life in Berlin. Nevertheless, his larger than life portraits are his signature and they are drop dead realistic. Unfortunately, this portrait of alias030 (another street artist) by MTO is not one to show his talents fully!

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