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NORTHERN GERMANY “I had been painting in the streets for


years fi ve years before I even heard the term street art,” he said. Chimp said he doesn’t want his work


to convey anything because he doesn’t work in advertising, he said. It’s up to the viewer to fi nd something or nothing in the work. “It’s about the creativity and freedom


and love and playfulness of viewers be- ing set free to make their own stories,” he said. “My work is a key for the lock cre- ated by society in every city dweller.” Like Dave the Chimp, SP 38, another


Berlin artist, said he didn’t want to be- come a street artist; he just is and has been for 20 years. SP 38 said the city is a great place for


street and urban art because there is still free space to work. T e city is still changing since the re-


unifi cation, SP 38 said. In the 90s, he said tolerance and energy made Berlin a paradise. “I like Berlin,” SP 38 said. “T e art


scene is really alive and diverse. You can meet bourgeois people at a punk rock concert. It’s a melting pot, chaotic and colorful. But for how long?” Chimp said the street art scene has


become boring and more like a business. He said more artists are treating their work as public relations and are publish- ing movies online or blogging every time they put up a new poster. “It’s become a way for people without


the talent to show in galleries suddenly being invited to show in galleries,” he said. “Street art is dead. Hopefully the hype will die away and we can get back to making art in the streets.” Bila, the Berlin guide, said Berlin is al-


ways changing. “It’s never stuck,” she said. “Artists come and go, so, the news styles, new ideas are always arriving in the city.” New galleries are always popping up


everywhere, Bila said. “Just as long as they keep their work


fresh, subversive, edgy, political, yet aes- thetical, and embrace all the diff erent cul- tures that live and work here just like until now, Berlin’s art scene will stay interesting and not tiresome,” Bila said.


The best


places to see street art are


Kreuzberg and Fried- richshain. Both places are accessible by S-bahn stops. Here, everything from trash- cans to stairwells is covered in art.


Top: Kunstamt Bethanien is one of many galleries that Lady Gaby stops at on her famous walking street art tour. The gallery offers unique paint- ings and items for sale, many featur- ing local artists. Left: Lady Gaby’s art tour takes vistors to various haunts throughout Berlin including studios, markets, galleries and created spaces.


ALPINE LIVING 2011 | 11


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