1 of 6
Sobr's "It's Time to Dance". Photo by Maria Runarsdottir
2 of 6
Mode 2's mural. Photo by Maria Runarsdottir
3 of 6
Victor Ash's "Astronaut Cosmonaut". Photo by Maria Runarsdottir
4 of 6
Nomad's "Rounded Heads". Photo by Maria Runarsdottir
5 of 6
Blu's mural. Photo by Maria Runarsdottir
6 of 6
Christiaan Nagel's blue mushroom. Photo by Maria Runarsdottir
With the help of the artists from Alternative Berlin Tours, we’ve tracked down six of the most impactful and surprising works that make us stop and think in front of buildings, bars and U-Bahn tracks.
1, 10178 Berlin
You’ll find tons of street art along Mitte’s Dirkenstraße, like El Bocho’s creatively killed cats, Rpnth’s hipster-hating pigeons, Dexter’s aliens and even one of Tejn’s trash metal sculptures. But there’s something simply wonderful about Sobr’s confetti-clad ladies from the series It’s Time to Dance (found between Rosa-Luxemburg-Straße and Hackescher Markt). Made from images shot at open-air raves, these works freeze the pure joy of the moment when you lose yourself to music and dance.
Mode 2’s powerful orange and black mural along the sandy path to the beach bar is not the only stunner at Yaam. Make sure to swing by for a glance at the morbidly surreal mural near the entrance by Nychos, and work by B.S. and The Weird crew too. Around the back, there’s even a gallery dedicated to the scene.
3Oranienstraße 195, 10999 Berlin
It doesn’t get more iconic than Parisian Victor Ash’s 22m “Astronaut Cosmonaut”. Despite its stencil aesthetic, it was hand-painted as part of the 2007 “Live Issue” of Backjumps magazine. Make sure to swing by at night, when the shadow from the nearby VW dealership’s flag is cast on the wall, just below the figure’s outstretched arm, turning Kreuzberg into the surface of the moon.
4Oppelner Straße 5, 10997 Berlin
Berliner Nomad is one of the city’s longest-active street artists, and though he’s slowed things down on hometown streets in the last few years, high-profile commissions by collector Ashton Kutcher, like the massive slot machine painted on the rooftop of Vegas’ Planet Hollywood, have garnered international attention. Despite going mainstream, his pieces, like “Rounded Heads”, are minimal, critical and compelling.
5Oberbaumstraße, 10997 Berlin
Blu’s monumental depiction of a disorderly mass consuming the individual has been a Kreuzberg landmark since it was painted by hand over nine days in 2007. But the Italian street artist’s mark on the city is fading: in 2014, he erased two fantastic pieces on Curvystraße to protest development along the Spree, so catch this one while you can. Face the monster on board the U1 between Warschauer Straße and Schlesisches Tor.
Standing tall at the entrance to Urban Spree, Christiaan Nagel’s blue mushroom, a leftover from the 2014 exhibition Dubl Trubl, will have you feeling like you’ve fallen down the rabbit hole. Beside it, the entire R.A.W. area is a treasure trove of throw-ups, burners and murals, like the womb heart “Corazon Delator” by Alaniz on the side of Haubentaucher.