Over the last 12 years, street artists created a collage on the facade of the LUX in Berlin X-Berg. Unfortunately for these diligent collagists, a graffiti artist has covered their collage with gray paint and the words “Thank STERBN.” According to the Berlin group trying to restore the piece, the wall showed how artists can create artwork together and they want it restored.
The LUX (building) and the artists who worked on the original collaging want to remove the gray paint from the The LUX, located at Schleisische Str. 41, 10997 Berlin.
Berlin’s mural artwork attract undesirable graffiti or people who have no idea how to create graffiti or urban art and just splotch scribbles on a wall. In 2014, Vrubel Dmitri, organised an art cleaning of his mural “Brotherly Kiss,” to remove graffiti left by visitors and artists looking for a few minutes of fame. Check out the link to see what his artwork looked like before it was cleaned up.
In Munich, Commissioned street “graffiti” art can be found under the Donnersburgerbrucke and at Candidplatz. Curated Street street art can be found along Tumblingerstrasse and at the Schlachthofviertel. If you want to see what other street art I find on my weekly walks around town, please subscribe to Munich Artists’s instagram feed which will show you Munich street art and graffiti found as I wander the city.
Should we be Cleaning and Restoring Street Art?
Public street art murals are not graffiti and open to manipulation, collaging or overpainting. The street artwork at Candidplatz and Donnersburgerbrucke are not graffiti. The city subsidized the creation of the art pieces and allowed the artwork to be created. The city invited specific urban artists to create the work so the artwork does not fall under the definition of graffiti which is:
[an] unauthorized writing or drawing on a public surface.
Urban styled artwork in the public realm is not graffiti unless it fits this definition.
The artwork on the Lux building is allowed by the owner of the building. The artwork is not graffiti but urban street art where the artists have permission from the building owner. The artists in Berlin worked for 12 years on a public art piece which has been covered by a graffiti artist who did not know. Maybe they were from another city or were not involved in the street culture of Berlin.
The graffiti artist decided to add to the artwork with a different agenda and covered over the artwork of the other artists. This happens all the time on tumblingerstrasse. Great artwork is covered over to make room for mediocre work. The walls change with the weather and Munich artists understand that artwork that goes onto those walls have a temporary life which is captured by Munich photographers because permission does not mean permanence and we want to remember the great artwork created in Munich.
If you would like to see some of the street art in Munich captured by Munich photographers, you can check out the following two books:
- “Munich Street Art – A road safari”.Roy Hessing and Jörg Müller anchor, 12 Euro, ISBN 978-3-00-033149-7 (We have a few copies at Frauenstrasse if you would like to buy one.)
- Street Art Munich a book created by Reinhild Freitag shares artwork by Munich artists Loomit, Eazy and LawOne.
As an urban artist, I enjoy seeing the artwork of artists on the streets but don’t confuse graffiti with urban art murals. The two are not the same. The artwork at the locations mentioned above are allowed by the city or the owners of the particular buildings so the artwork has left the realm of graffiti and has become Urban public art.