The Future is Female … Berlin Street Art

Berlin seems to have invented a new genre of street art – mattress art. I came across the arresting sight of two mattresses being used to convey messages way beyond my understanding, while meandering aimlessly through Kreuzberg, a Berlin street art hotspot. If that wasn’t enough, on the same walk I also came across perhaps the most terrifying piece of street art I’ve ever seen. There is something properly disturbing about a giant baby/man hybrid.

Tempertot by Ron English, Street Art, Berlin, Germany
Tempertot by Ron English, Street Art, Berlin, Germany
A Good Man, Street Art, Berlin, Germany
The Future Is Female by Case Ma’Claim, Street Art, Berlin, Germany
The Future Is Female by Case Ma’Claim, Street Art, Berlin, Germany
Mattress art, Street Art, Berlin, Germany

What local residents think of the hideously muscular and angry-looking steroid-using baby that adorns a wall on Wassertorstrasse, is anyone’s guess. Ron English’s Tempertot is anything but easy to look at. As you might expect from an artist who paid $700,000 for a Banksy art piece and immediately threatened to whitewash over it, this Berlin piece is equally uncompromising. This isn’t the world’s only Tempertot, there’s a green one in New York that I’ll be be doing my best to avoid.

Not too far from the terrible tot, just across the Landwehr Canal, the once splendid The Future is Female by Case Maclaim has suffered defacement by what looks like someone throwing paint bombs. It’s a shame, this painting of the artist’s friend and his daughter is a great piece. I’ve seen this type of ‘attack’ on a couple of other large (building-sized) pieces in recent months, the exact same paint bomb MO.

Perhaps this is in response to the more organised and commercial form of street art that Berlin is now embracing, or maybe it’s just bog-standard vandalism. Whatever it is, it’s certainly annoying. I made my way towards Bülowstrasse, to check out what’s been going on in Urban Nation’s backyard. There were quite a few things I’d not seen before, including a wonderful art-meets-biblical history combo depicting The Last Judgement and an Angel of Mercy. These take up two side of the same building.

Along here were several new pieces, including one by Nafir, an Iranian street artist that I’ve seen a couple of times in Berlin. A woman holds a placard of protest reading ‘FREE WIFI’, which has been defaced to read ‘FREE WIFE’. There was also a woman cradling Disney’s cartoon dog, Pluto. Over the road from which is a piece called Grey Habitat. Along with a couple of other artworks, this building-specific piece has been there for a few years, but I’d never photographed it before.

Street Art, Berlin, Germany
Angel of Mercy by Julien de Casabianca, Street Art, Berlin, Germany
The Last Judgement by Julien de Casabianca, Street Art, Berlin, Germany
Angel of Mercy by Julien de Casabianca, Street Art, Berlin, Germany
Free Wifi, Street Art, Berlin, Germany
Street Art, Berlin, Germany

In a nearby window packing tape had been used to create portraits of four people, a type of art you don’t see very often. If you know who the portraits are meant to be, let me know. My favourite piece on this Berlin ramble though, was a sticker of Donald ‘he’s going to get us all killed’ Trump. Dressed in fox hunting gear, Trump’s riding a Twitter bird (pub quiz factoid, the bird is called Larry), presumably in his attempt to hunt down truth and kill it.

That’s the beauty of Berlin street art, whether it covers a building, or is no bigger than a beer mat, there’s always something new to catch the eye as you make your way through the city.

13 thoughts on “The Future is Female … Berlin Street Art

  1. These are great! The Trump one made me laugh, but the one with tape…I’ve never seen anything like that before, really cool!

    1. I’m a keen spotter (or nerd) of street art and have never seen anything like the tape piece, really odd … and I still don’t know who they are.

  2. You are a champion of Street art. You should write a photo book on that…
    Now mattress art? Es ist nieuw… 😉
    Stay safe Paul. The figures I see from England are not good. Can we hope this will at least be the demise (so to speak) of Boris J. (for Judas) Johnson?

    1. You were just ahead of the news cycle, Brian. It seems herd immunity has yet to reach Bovine Boris!!
      Hope all’s well with you?

      1. We’re fine thank you. Touching wood. Hope you are too. I wish Johnson no harm, of course, and do wish he will recover. But I do hope he will be sick as a dog before he does recover. Maybe he will learn a lesson. And set an example to the morons who increasingly pretend to rule us?
        (Enjoying Netflix’s WWII documentary. A few flaws but a good reminder… of things to come?)

  3. Beautiful photos. It felt like walking with you on the street. And being chased by that baby is the stuff of nightmares!

    1. Couldn’t agree more, that baby could give you sleepless nights – the variety of Berlin street art is what makes it so interesting.

  4. You’ve captured the street art beautifully. It’s quite different from that in Amman, but it reflects what the artists are feeling at the time, I suppose. You’ve introduced me to a new word: tempertot. I may be able to use it in the future because I know some people who act that way!!! My favorite mural is the Angel of Mercy — color, contrast, art! Thanks for posting these.

    1. Thanks. Tempertot fits the description for a few people I know as well! Berlin street art throws up all sorts of weird and wonderful creations, it’s one of the pleasures of living here. All best, Paul

  5. Thanks for the street art tour! I love the Angel of Mercy and Last Judgement, and Trump on a Twitter bird is hilarious!!

    1. Berlin street art, the gift that keeps on giving!

  6. Another wonderful post. Thank you.

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