Is there even such a thing as Berlin Art? Was there ever? Are the Lysergic catalog of prints Berlin Art works?
I can’t tell you what an Art Critic or an Art Historian could answer, but here are some personal musings based on my years in Berlin since 2009.
One thing is for sure, Berlin has been gentrifying dramatically. Since the wall came down. And gentrification is always linked with artists. Arriving in overlooked, destroyed, abondoned or newly discovered areas and creatively transforming them, making the spaces desirable once again.
Another sure thing – tell anyone anywhere else in the world you live in Berlin and the response is always something to do with art, creativity, music and party culture.
So, there seems to be a worldwide reputation linking Berlin and Art.
Beer is still cheap here. Weed is easy to find too. There used to be an amazing abundance of abandoned spaces and overgrown lots. The Berlin locals are tolerant. There were squats and possibilities for alternative lifestyles. Rent was cheap, and with less economic pressure there was so much possibility for non commercial creative endeavour and activity. Collaboration and cross pollination. And heaps of parks and public spaces. And STREET ART. Graffiti and stencils, paste ups and stickers.
It seems I am writing some of this in the past tense. We have tech start ups now, and mercedes benz fashion week (not to mention Berlin Art week), rising rents and property speculation just like everywhere. We also have commercial galleries with contemporary art and glitzy openings. As well as street (style) art in museums!
But there is still a DIY culture, an abundance of non-commercial activity, an underground. Many networks. Late nights in off spaces. Creative communities and artistic activations, activism and inclusion.
So is this Lysergic print art Berlin art? It’s created in Berlin by a transplanted Kiwi… With DIY culture at its roots. It’s ECO-wave…. and Screenprint is some kind of punky medium.
It’s more grunge than techno.
Does this help? It doesn’t have to. Berlin is also cold and uncaring, unfriendly to strangers and rough around the edges.
Does it have a picture of the TV tower on it?