Friedrichshain or Kreuzberg – that was the question. starting my 2nd day in Berlin, onto the track of 1st Berlin Mural Fest. The map showed me the way; the decision for Friedrichshain was easy: worst things first. Friedrichshain is always crowded by tourists, especially around East Side Gallery. I hate their selfie-mania. Self-regarding, reckless and blind for everything else except themselves; their main device: the selfiestick. I knew, the chance to escape was almost zero; to avoid Friedrihshain would mean to miss Holzmarktstraße, Mühlenstraße and Warschauer Straße. IMPOSSIBLE!
So I headed for Ostbahnhof this morning, to start the day with Holzmarktstraße 25. The homepage announced 5 walls there with EL BOCHO, ISAKOV, KLEBEBANDE, TASSO and GOGOPLATA. On historical grounds, where from 2004 – 2010 legendary club Bar25 celebrated their techno parties, a new lighthouse project of creative and sustainable city development has been launched by a cooperative of 140 investors. An urban village with marketplace and day care center was built mainly with natural building materials. Definitely, with all those freshly painted walls, Holmarktstraße was an early highlight of this walk. And the best: a low tourist density, which should be changed soon. Next topic on my agenda was Mühlenstraße 6, where I hoped to find the mural of The Dixons. But that wall at East Side Hotel, opposite East Side Gallery, had been refreshed by a new advertising mural. The mural of The Dixons has vanished in history. I was prepared for, as my Berlin contacts had warned me that some of the murals of the festival might be short-lived and temporary. It seems that I have just missed it, as the scaffolding was not completely dismantled yet. The next stop was Warschauer Straße 58 – and this was the first challenge of the day. You have to pass Revaler Straße and Urban Spree first. It was hard, but I succeeded to pass it without distracting me. I said so already: it was hard! In May 2018 French artist MTO got the invitation to paint a large mural in Berlin. Coincidentally, this marked both, MTO’s 10th anniversary as a street artist as well as his exit from the city 5 years ago. The piece is an anamorphosis image, meant to give everyone the same chance to get the final official photo. MTO calls this a „democratic perspective“, because it gives no advantage to people with specific access. Any so called „official photographer“ with a drone camera or access to the yard where it was painted, will only end up with a distorted image of the design, as it is made to be properly seen only from the sidewalk, at the street level, where everyone can shoot it the same way.  The mural of MTO at Warschauer Straße 58 is to be found in good company of graffiti by JUST and BERLIN KIDZ. I was particularly curious about the next and last item of the day’s agenda, which was Warschauer Straße 9. The two Bulgarians Jelio and Georgi Dimitrov aka Arsek and Erase have been a graffiti duo since the beginning of 2000. They mostly paint in the field of illustration and surrealism and their distinctive style is defined by loud colors, fun and varied comic-based characters. The newest mural is no exception. A fat Berlin bear with spray cans has a lot of fun riding a typical yellow Berlin subway which groans under its weight and is already tagged with ARSEK x ERASE. What will it do next? I guess I know!
The pictures between the walls are -> here