The birthplace of graffiti may have been New York City, but the street art and graffiti scene has taken off in Berlin since the 1970s as artists, activists and youth use the medium as a wat to react to national and regional politics and express their social grievances.
As the wall came down and East and West became one, graffiti was not only used as a tool for socio-political commentary, but it also became a way for individuals to express alternative lifestyles and subcultures. Over time, street art has become increasingly mainstream and has turned into something artistic, design-focused and even commercial in nature.
Some artists, such as XOOOOX (pronounced “zooks”) take an artistic approach to their work as they comment on the consumerist societies in which we live. XOOOOX has tagged Berlin inside and out with images of models and women that pay homage to the fashion world, yet sarcastically tear it apart at the same time (to read more about XOOOOX click here).
Like so many other places, graffiti and street art in Berlin is used by individuals who live on “the edge of society” to address cultural woes and challenges, as well as some of the absurdities they see modern day life. The next time you’re in Germany’s capital make sure to take a look up, down and around to catch a glimpse of this art on display.
It’ll be worth it.