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Let’s All Go to Berlin

READY, SET, GO

Berlin transit map

Train pulling in at Turmstrasse

Red man = stop!

Green man = go!

Kotbusser Tor station

Kirfurstenstrasse

Sky and Alicia on the U-Bahn

Tony and Leah on the U-Bahn

Mirror shot

GOLDEN DAYS OF FALL

Victory column

Tony and Leah at a cafe

Dortmunderstrasse

Alicia and Leah at a cafe

Purple turban lady

boat cleaners on the Spree

Empty bottles

Yellow flowers

Cafe V's sidewalk

Cafe V's yellow tree

Cafe V's breakfast

Green and red ivy street

Red vines

ART IS INEVITABLE AND UNAVOIDABLE

Fist

Mural

cannibalism?

I <3 Berlin

Llamas

Hungry mural

Peace stencil

Lounging sculpture

Apple tree

Apple tree - closer inspection

Orange leaves over the Wall

Buy your happiness

Plague mask graffiti

They all love you

Love art mural

Tony at Berlin MOMA

Ok! stencil

THEN IT GOT COLD

Socks purchased

Sky's wardrobe

Guy with bikes

Friedrichstrasse

Flowers and coffee

MAKING WARM THINGS

Yarn store

Yarn for sale

Leah crocheting

JUST LOOKING: TURKISH MARKET – FLEA MARKET – SECOND HAND

Tony did not buy this hat

1981 plaque

funky interior

Canal behind the Turkish market

Turkish market

Flowers for sale

Flea market food court

REMNANTS AND REMEMBRANCES OF THE PAST

Jewish History Museum

Thumbs up

Small people - small things
Terrier on the Wall

Drinking coffee at the Wall
Checkpoint Charlie

You are leaving the American Sector

More walls to tear down

Wireframe church

Public art

Holocaust Memorial - vertical

Holocaust Memorial - sky

Holocaust Memorial - stairs

DIAMOND ROAD SHOW

Diamond Road Show

Diamond Road Show - projector setup

Diamond Road Show - red

FAREWELL, SISTERS

The Four

AUF WIEDERSEHEN, BERLIN

Brandenburg Gate - Festival of Lights

19
Nov 2012
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POSTED IN

Germany

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Zagreb, Capital of Croatia

We didn’t have any particular reason for visiting Croatia’s capital, other than for the fact that it had good transportation connections to Slovenia. We arrived with no expectations, and did our regular first-day-in-a-new-place hike around to see what was going on in Zagreb.

Ban Jelačić Square

Ban Jelačić statue

Alicia ate corn.

King Tomislav Square

nun waiting for tram

nun at train station

 

train car

tree-lined streets

Tony on the street

Sheep

Owl

wall - b&w bird heads

wall - ear

Alicia - wall

dogs - wall

Stripes

twisty neck

characters sitting on the wall

Rooster

cloud

horn player

Polar bear

black sheep

small wheatpastes

wheatpaste portraits

Graffiti van

After hiking around most of the day, Alicia felt like crashing early. I ended up making some new friends for the night – A few Kiwis, an Austrian brother and sister biking through Croatia, two guys named Mike from London and Jersey, and a couple of Turks who were busking their way around Europe. We all hung out in the lobby until the receptionist’s shift ended and she took us out to a couple of her favorite haunts. The first being a pretty great beer garden where we sat for a while and sipped on Velebitsko dark lager.

The second stop took us down a couple alleys and into a fully painted courtyard, packed with people, and music blasting out of small door painted up like the entrance to a circus side show. Medika – named after the huge former medical factory that once occupied its abandoned buildings - is a venue, culture center, artist collective, and Zagreb’s first legalized squat. A couple of locals explained that usually if the place is that busy it is because a live band is playing, but that night a DJ was spinning a new take on traditional Croatian folk music that everyone is really into.

Medika entrada

So we decided to stay an extra night. Maybe because we still needed to figure out how to get to Ljubljana, maybe because I got home at 5 am.

So our second day we went for another walk, got some train tickets for the next morning, and back to an empty Medika for a few photos in the daytime.

giant dog

buffalo man

Poirot

“All the servants of love are welcome!”

bug building

flying mushroom

strong man

comic

blue bear

eyepatch kitties

-T

01
Nov 2012
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POSTED IN

Croatia

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Cigarettes: mandatory. Respirator: optional.

(Click here for the video.)

Between a half day in a tattoo studio (more on that soon) and eating some wonderful buckwheat crepes with our friend Sharla, we just happened to walk through the square at Place du Capitole where Toulouse Graffiti Jam 3 had just started. Half of the square was transformed into a maze of plywood walls with paintings in-progress by over 30 artists, while a live DJ spun French hip-hop and timely tributes to Beastie Boy MCA, who had passed away less than a week earlier. Most of the artists were native to Toulouse and Paris, while others came from UK, Spain, Italy, and even Atlanta and LA.

Graffiti seems to be a reoccurring theme, even back to our first day in Reykjavik. It continued in Glasgow where I thought to myself, “…can’t tell if there is a lot of decent street art here, or if I’m just from the midwest and don’t know whats normal.” In Paris, I spotted an Invader tile mosaic strategically placed next to one of Hector Guimard’s Metro station entrances. The artist who tattooed me in Madrid (… also more on that soon) started sneaking out to spray paint when he was 13, and even had plans right after my appointment to go paint some walls with friends who were in town from northern Europe.

I was vaguely familiar with a couple of the French artists at the Toulouse event, which made it exceptionally cool to just happen across giant pieces of their work in public.

The first was a giant floating one-eyed head by Leopold Geb. I recognized his style from seeing a few of his drawings online. When I searched around enough to find out his name, his tumblr linked to an artist I had met with earlier that day.

Then there was a piece by Vincent Abadie Hafez, also known as Zepha. Zepha’s work is composed with broad-stroked and impeccably (impossibly) balanced writing, influenced by arabic calligraphy. That writing was instantly recognizable in giant gold brush strokes amidst darker layers. I loved it enough to get a decent photo, not even realizing it was actually unfinished. When we walked through again a couple days later, it was covered in an almost-opaque red except where he had encouraged random viewers to rub it away with their hands. This revealed an under-painted circle of lettering he had put down beforehand, which I think told an interesting story about this type of art.

Graffiti has roots in defacement. And the defacement side of graffiti is sadly still kicking. The territorial pissings of taggers exist in every city we’ve been in. It defaced legitimate street art in Reykjavik. Our first view of the Eiffel Tower was through the harshly scratched-up glass of a Paris Metro car. The lift room for the tower at Sagrada Familia was filled with carvings of every kid who ever had to stand in line. At Vardzia, the nearly thousand year old frescos outside the tiny cave-church are barely out of reach, but the feet of saints and angels are almost erased by names and pledges of young love.

To say the graffiti at this event is something completely different is an overstatement. Street art culture has evolved to form a collective conscience that keeps most of it on dilapidated buildings and other urban decay. It’s also become respected enough as medium that artists like Geb and Zepha now display their work in galleries. Another artist that was there, TOTEM2, does commissions for advertisement murals. But none of them honed their talent on municipal plywood in this much sunlight. They retain their credibility as street artists because they still get out at night and make art in the street.

Maybe it’s getting hard to use the word “defacement” any more when so many of those surfaces are being improved. But Zepha brought that term full circle in Toulouse, where the finished product of his work would only be fully realized through literal defacement by the public– ironically, the only defacement taking place at a graffiti exhibition. He described it on his site as “Calligraphic text and then covered… To be newly discovered by curious hands.”

-T

15
Jun 2012
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POSTED IN

France

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Reykjavik Street Art

We loved the street art that was all over the city. The scale and quality of many pieces suggest they are commissioned, but others were obviously gifted to the city, unrequested. Here is an older article from 2008.

24
Apr 2012
POSTED BY admin
POSTED IN

Iceland

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