Street-Art

Posts about “Street-Art” at the Teufelsberg Berlin.

Letter F – A Touch of Surrealism

Are you ready to delve into the next captivating chapter of the #FreiheitBerlin series? You do not have to wait any longer! In this article, we are excited to introduce you to Juli Jahh, the brilliant mind behind the fascinating letter ‘F’. If you have not read the story behind the #FreiheitBerlin lettering or the articles about the previous letters, we recommend starting there.

Unleashing Imagination

Meet Juli Jahh, a captivating Lithuanian-Polish multidisciplinary artist whose work spans analogue drawing, illustration, murals and live painting. Her artworks exude a delicate balance of fragility and expression. Her use of colour and black ink creates an impressive tension that draws the viewer in. These expressive elements are combined with sharp, angular, or curvy lines, resulting in a range of pieces from informal caricatures to stunningly detailed and realistic portrayals. However, it is her exploration of surrealist ideas that most defines her work, inviting you into her delusional world to engage with and explore.

Juli’s drawing process is as simple as it is powerful: she faces a blank sheet of paper and lets her emotions and thoughts flow freely. This creative act serves as a cathartic ritual, providing relief in the warm embrace of solitude.

Experiment at Teufelsberg

Domcast is a sound installation and podcast series featuring ambient, experimental live performances that use the dome at Teufelsberg as a natural parabolic reverb. This project is a collaboration between Dots Gallery and 11001 Records. During one of these performances, Juli Jah painted live, inspired by the sounds of musicians like Jiawen Wang and Bruno Gola. She played with splashes of paint, organic shapes, and lines guided by the music. Within a few hours, she created an impressive mural. However, for Juli Jah, it was more about the creative experiment than the result.

 

Freedom as a Path to Transformation

When you observe the letter “F” in #FreiheitBerlin, you will quickly recognize Juli’s signature style—the fragile yet powerful colours, the bold lines, and the surreal atmosphere that invites you to step into another world. Her art beckons you to leave reality behind and delve into the depths of her imagination.

 

“The concept of the letter F is based on life’s experiences. People often avoid and disown negative, traumatic events instead of confronting them. Rejection is not validation; only by sitting with ourselves can we find deeper meaning. There are no coincidences, only synchronizations; every situation and emotion are a source of knowledge if we look deeper.” Juli explains. “Freedom is transformation. Freedom might be painful but crucial to transform and thrive. Some things you can learn only in the dark, by choosing the consequence for the sake of just being yourself. The Berlin Bear, cracks, organic ornaments, and the colour red—all hold significant symbolism, complemented by the text on the other side of the letter. I invite viewers to interpret these symbols according to their own experiences, beliefs, and perspectives.”

In the end, you do not have to necessarily like an artist’s style or art; you just need to understand the reason behind it. Juli’s art represents her personal truth, and to truly understand it, you must genuinely desire to see it.

Do you want to see the letters in person? Book our Street Art Tour and let Juli’s unique interpretation of freedom inspire you. Stay tuned, because we will soon reveal the secrets behind the other letters. Do not miss out on the chance to uncover the incredible stories and artistry that make up #FreiheitBerlin.

Nina Valkhoff – Endangered Beauty

Imagine walking on the grounds of Teufelsberg and coming face to face with a majestic tiger that seems to leap off the wall. Surely, you would want to know more about the meaning behind it. If so, we are thrilled to introduce you today to one of our remarkable muralists, Nina Valkhoff.

Vibrant Art with a Message

Nina is a Dutch muralist and painter from Rotterdam, where she studied illustration at the Willem de Kooning Art Academy. With over 20 years of professional experience, she has created stunning murals around the globe. Her work can be seen in countries like Sweden, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Argentina, Portugal, Mexico, France, Curaçao, the UK, Germany, Monaco, and Ireland. If during your travels you have ever admired a captivating mural of flora and fauna on an apartment building, restaurant, office, or shop, there is a good chance you have encountered Nina’s vibrant artwork.

Creating large mural paintings is Nina’s passion. Her unique style focuses on depicting plants and animals, with a special emphasis on endangered species. Through her art, she aims to raise awareness about these creatures and showcase their beauty. Nina’s work makes a powerful statement about our selective love for more familiar or common animals, urging us to appreciate and protect all species, especially those at risk.

Her style is realistic with a touch of fantasy; she loves incorporating colors that aren’t originally there to create a vibrant yet realistic image. With a lot of attention to detail and a deep love for nature, she designs her works to make the world a little happier. Street art doesn’t always have a profound message. Sometimes, its value lies simply in making different areas and neighborhoods more beautiful and picturesque.

But how does Nina create these massive artworks? To work safely at great heights, she uses a mobile aerial work platform and a safety harness. She begins her process by creating a grid of square sections, which she overlays on her design to accurately transfer the sketch lines onto the wall. Once the sketch is on the wall, the grid lines are painted over with white. Then, Nina fills large areas with color, gradually adding details like light and shadow effects, making the animals and plants appear increasingly realistic. On average, it takes her about 10 days to complete a mural.

Tiger in Focus

In line with her mission, Nina created a stunning tiger mural at Teufelsberg in March 2024 during our Power of Female Art Festival. Her creation certainly achieves its purpose—the majestic tiger looms over you, evoking a sense of awe and making you reflect on the plight of this magnificent species. The painting is dynamic and playful, with a hit of magic.

“I am really obsessed with tigers at the moment,” Nina shares. “Of course, it is an endangered species. I let myself get inspired by the walls around me. I think it really fits; it fits the place. Part of the design, the background is the original background that I found on the wall. I changed it a little bit with spray cans, but I like to use also the sort of rougher look that Teufelsberg has to emphasize the tiger.”

Are you also overwhelmed by Nina’s realistic tiger? Then you should come by and see Nina’s incredible tiger mural in person. Stay tuned, because we will be introducing many other talented artists very soon!

[nc24-03 | 07-2024]

Letter # – Discover Snyder – The Known Unknown

After telling the story behind the letters in our last article, we now want to introduce you to the talented artists behind this impressive installation. Today, we take you on a journey into the fascinating world of Snyder, the artist who brought the letter ‘#’ to life. If you have not read our previous article about the installation yet, you can find it here.

Who is Snyder?

Snyder is a true Berliner whose works can be seen all over the city. If you walk through Berlin, you have probably already encountered his artwork at Alexanderplatz, Heidestraße, or many other spots in Berlin – perhaps without even realising it. His style is unmistakable to those familiar with it. What makes Snyder even more intriguing and mysterious is that no one knows what he looks like. He never shows his face. You might have even passed him already on the street, in the subway, or at the supermarket – or are you Snyder?

A Play with Colours

Snyder’s distinctive style makes his art unique. He uses spray paint to layer animals on various media such as paper, canvas, or walls. His artworks are characterized by depth and authenticity, achieved through deliberate colour errors and chromatic aberrations – effects typically found only in analog and digital imaging. This technique challenges our visual perception and makes us question how a real zebra or tiger truly looks like. Now that you understand his style better, you will likely spot his works more often around Berlin. Or keep an eye out during your next visit to Teufelsberg, where several of Snyder’s works can be found.

The Berlin Zebra

Snyder’s piece on the letter ‘#’ is titled “Zebroc”, symbolizing freedom and independence much like the iconic Berlin Bear. By using chromatic aberrations and colour distortions, Snyder creates a vivid and dynamic portrayal that represents the diversity and vibrancy of freedom. His artworks are not only visually stunning but also carry a deeper message about the importance of diversity and peaceful coexistence among all forms of life.

Snyder himself says about his art: „The Berlin Zebra, like its counterpart the Berlin Bear, is wild and free and cannot be tamed. It shows us that freedom breeds diversity and that lived freedom is colourful rather than black and white. We must all accept, protect, support, and particularly cherish freedom. Freedom for all also requires thoughtfulness, tolerance, and consideration from everyone who wants to be free. Therefore, all living beings that embrace our freedom deserve an untouchable place in their freedom. That is why the zebra from Africa belongs to Berlin just as much as the Berlin Bear.“

Breathtaking Murals

Snyder has not only designed the letter ‘#’ but has also left many other spectacular artworks at Teufelsberg. One of his most famous pieces here is a majestic polar bear, painted in his characteristic technique. However, his artworks are even more impressive in real life. The vibrant colours and depth of his work are hard to capture in photos.

Are you fascinated by Snyder’s story and eager to see the letters up close? Then secure your ticket for our Street Art Tour, which includes a visit to the roof of the American unit where the letters are located. Don’t forget to admire Snyder’s other works while you are there!

Want to learn more about the stories behind the other letters? Stay tuned – in the coming weeks we will introduce the other artists in our blog.

[nc24-02 | 06-2024]

#FREIHEITBERLIN: The New Artistic Voice of Teufelsberg

Have you heard about Teufelsberg´s latest attraction? The #FreiheitBerlin installation has recently been unveiled on the roof of the former American unit. These gigantic letters carry a special meaning and an exciting story. Do you know, for instance, why they appear to be reversed? Or how you can get up to the roof to view the installation up close? If not, then you have come to the right place!

The Origin of the Letters

The be Berlin campaign, run by Partner für Berlin Holding Gesellschaft für Hauptstadt-Marketing mbH since 2008, aims to establish Berlin as an international brand. Through innovative ideas, activities, and events, the campaign showcases what makes Berlin so unique and free. As part of this campaign, the #FreiheitBerlin lettering, designed by GRAFT and Graft Brandlab, was unveiled in 2018 at Washingtonplatz in front of Berlin Central Station. This installation was intended to symbolize the importance of freedom and make Berlin’s freedom visible worldwide. At the unveiling, then-mayor Michael Müller emphasized, “Berlin lives and loves freedom. We Berliners will never forget that peace and freedom are not a given.”

The letters #Freiheit were created by renowned street artists as part of the Berlin Art Bang project. Nine well-known street art crews, including Klebebande, El Bocho, Gogoplata, Case Maclaim, and the blog Notes of Berlin, were selected to design the letters. For the Berlin letters, anyone could participate – a unique project where citizens could contribute their creative interpretations of freedom.

Moving to Teufelsberg

In November 2023, the installation found a new home at Teufelsberg. But why here? Teufelsberg is more than just a hill in the capital – it is a unique symbol of artistic freedom in Berlin. Where surveillance and control once reigned, creativity and freedom now flourish. Artists from around the world use this historic site to create their visions and reflect on societal issues. The murals tell stories of freedom, resistance, and hope, giving the place a special atmosphere. The #FreiheitBerlin installation fits perfectly into this environment as it reflects the soul of this place. In a world that is becoming increasingly unsettled, Teufelsberg brings the freedom of art back into focus.

Fresh Colors

Art, especially street art, is vibrant and constantly evolving – much like the concept of freedom. To reflect this dynamic character, the installation was creatively transformed in March 2024. Each letter was repainted by a street artist, resulting in a unique artwork. The artists infused their personal interpretations of freedom into their works. The aim of this redesign was to give the letters new relevance and to reflect the meaning of freedom in today’s world. This initiative highlights the diversity and individuality that street art as an art form offers, showing how art and freedom can constantly influence and reinterpret each other.

Change of Perspective

And now to the frequently asked question: Why are the #FreiheitBerlin letters facing the way they are? Are they really reversed? No! It’s all a matter of perspective. The letters are aligned so that they appear reversed when viewed from the domes. This was deliberately designed to create an aesthetically pleasing view in combination with the white domes. The perfect picture emerges only when you look at the installation from the right perspective. Want to experience this impressive view yourself? Now you have the chance! Join our new Street Art Tour, where you can step onto the roof of the American unit and see the installation up close. Book your tour here and discover the fascinating world of art at Teufelsberg!

In the coming weeks, we will introduce each of the letters and the respective artists who made them so colourful. Stay tuned if you want to find out more!

 

[nc24-01 | 06-2024]