Streetart - What is that?
Street art and graffiti are often equated. But that is not correct. But what is street art actually?
The term street art covers various, mostly non-commercial forms of art in public spaces. The term street art is rarely used in order to avoid confusion with the term street art.
This is because while street art simply uses the street as a presentation surface, street art aims rather to communicate with other people through the signs in urban space. In doing so, the artists certainly pursue the intention that their works should also be permanently preserved.
The difference to graffiti is primarily that in street art the pictorial part outweighs the artistic writing.
Since 2005, the term street art has included different techniques, materials, objects and art forms in public space. In this respect, there have been several art movements that have influenced street art. One of the first works according to today's understanding of street art is this large mural on the Große Freiheit in Hamburg, which was created in 1968 by Werner Nöfer and Dieter Glasmacher:
Since around 2000, street art has been seen as a movement and since 2005, this movement has then also been called street art. Before that, there were only individual artists and terms such as post-graffiti or urban art were used for their work.
American graffiti differs from street art in that graffiti is primarily about the artistic writing of names. Today, street art, graffiti and other forms of art in public spaces are usually subsumed under the umbrella term urban art. In the media and in common usage, however, terms such as street art, public art, urban art and graffiti are often used synonymously.
To create their works, street artists use a wide variety of media such as markers, brushes and paint rollers, spray cans, stencils, stickers or posters. Walls and house facades are usually used as the background, which are painted or pasted over.
However, electricity boxes, traffic signs, telephone boxes, traffic lights, lanterns, rubbish bins, park benches, pavements, streets, trees and countless other surfaces in public spaces can also become canvases. However, street art is usually limited to surfaces that already exist. There are often overlaps between the techniques of street art and those of graffiti. For this reason, it is difficult to clearly distinguish between the two forms.
What all street art variants have in common is that they are accessible free of charge and can be found outside established places of art education. The term thus encompasses the wide range of visual artistic work in public space and includes both official and unofficial forms of art.
Three projects of this kind in Ludwigshafen, Germany:
First of all, the MURALU project must be mentioned, which was launched in 2018 by the Wilhelm Hack Museum with the aim of artistically and attractively upgrading some of Ludwigshafen's façades and other dreary areas.
Somewhat later, in 2020, the DEUTSCHE BAHN (operator of the German railway) fortunately decided to have a group of artists upgrade the less than edifying subways in the main railway station: this has been extremely successful!Finally, in Ebertpark, a small festival took place in October 2020, where several artists let off steam on desolate walls.
This page is a tribute to the artists who worked in our city, and they were perhaps happy about my documentations. But they did not feel comfortable with my comments in German: logically, who of us understands what a friend wants to express in his own, for us a foreign language?
This page is also intended to draw the attention of all people who are interested in art and do not understand German to this extraordinary project in our city!
The project was launched by the Wilhelm-Hack-Museum - funded by BASF SE - in 2018 as street art and is intended to enrich art in Ludwigshafen's public space with extraordinary façade paintings. Invited to these projects are internationally successful artists, but also regional and national greats of this scene, who present their oversized works on bare house walls and thus manifest the art itself in a previously unknown form in Ludwigshafen.
MURALU is an artificial word composed of the English word 'mural' and the license plate of Ludwigshafen 'LU'.
A total of ten such works are planned, which will make an important contribution in 2022 as part of an exhibition of the Wilhelm-Hack-Museum on the importance of street art in the 20th and 21st centuries.
Art in the harbour
Kick-off of the street art series Muralu, in October 2018.
A building of the Harbour Authority, which houses a branch of the Ludwigshafen police, has been given a new makeover by street artist Augustine Kofie from Los Angeles!
Translation of the Newspaper article
Brand new and rocked out
For seven days and always from early morning until nightfall, Augustine Kofie stood on the cherry picker and turned a house façade in slightly scruffy yellow into a great work of geometric shapes, interlocking circles, numbers and letters in various shades of orange and purple. In the end, he had created a 472.6 square metre surface. It is the American artist's first permanent mural in Germany and one of his largest works. The 45-year-old spoke of a "fantastic experience" when his finished work of art on the corner of Lagerhausstraße and Schwanthaler Allee was presented yesterday.
The design of the façade at Luitpoldhafen is to be followed by many more in the coming months and years. Ten are currently planned. There is no shortage of available space, said René Zechlin, director of the Wilhelm Hack Museum. Next, the back of the Sparkasse building facing the Rhein-Galerie is to be embellished, if it works out, by two Greek artists. Not only internationally known but also street artists from the region are to design the façades. The project, called "Muralu" after the term for contemporary murals, is to culminate in an exhibition on the significance of the street in the context of artistic developments in 2020. Graffiti is to be one aspect of this. "We didn't just want to illustrate this with photos in the museum, but to realise something in advance," Zechlin said. Augustine Kofie hopes to come to Ludwigshafen again for the exhibition opening - a city he described as very inspiring. It was precisely the fact that the project is the responsibility of an official institution that is a municipal museum that convinced him to accept the commission. This had not always been the case with his previous permanent wall designs in Paris, Boston, Marrakech and London.
For the design of the building, Kofie had already prepared drafts at home in Los Angeles in months of preparatory work, which were then heavily modified on site. The fact that it looks brand new in many places and in others as if it has been exposed to wind and weather for years - that is purely intentional. It is "exactly this mixture that I like", Kofie said about his aesthetics. And compared the work to a city in which old and new cars drive around. Kofie only found out after his arrival in Ludwigshafen that the police reside in the building between Depot Lu and Luitpoldhafen, which belongs to the port companies, with a few offices. And took note of it with enthusiasm. If you look at the history of graffiti, which began in the 1980s and often took place illegally, it's great, said the Californian.
He himself, who in his youth sometimes incurred the displeasure of police officers because of extensive skateboarding ("all harmless"), has been part of the street art scene in West Los Angeles since the mid-1990s. In his works, he repeatedly refers not only to street culture but also to art history. His abstract work is a perfect fit for the Wilhelm Hack Museum, Zechlin said. The "Muralu" project, however, wants to give space to different styles and aesthetic approaches. For Cornelia Reifenberg (CDU), head of the department of culture, the graffiti project also means that the museum is opening up further into the city - as it has done for years with the Hackgarten. These are "extremely positive developments". And Eberhard Weber, the vice-president of the Rhine-Palatinate police headquarters, was pleased about the opportunity to take a different look at the police "than we are usually used to". The police certainly have a great affinity with art.
Koutsikos und Kollektiv Blaqk
Art at the Savings Bank
September 2020: the MONEYBOX
On the rear façade of the Sparkasse Vorderpfalz in Rheinuferstraße, three well-known Greek artists designed a joint project in which they worked together for the first time:
Here's a trip to Moneybox on a great site!
Translation of this newspaper article
Ludwigshafen. The Ludwigshafen street art project Muralu went into the next round with three renowned Greek artists: Paris Koutsikos - also known as Parisko - and the Blaqk collective, consisting of the two artists Greg Papagrigoriou and Chris Tzaferos (Simek) designed the façade at the back of the Sparkasse Vorderpfalz within only five days. The permanent mural on Rheinuferstraße is the second "mural" realised as part of the Muralu street art project.
"After we launched Muralu with the renowned Los Angeles-based artist Augustine Kofie at Luitpoldhafen, we are very pleased that our street art project is now being continued with the mural by Parisko and Blaqk. This is the artists' first joint project in Germany," says curator Dr Astrid Ihle.
In their works, the Athens-born artists Parisko and Blaqk combine calligraphy, typography and geometry, which represents a new and unusual approach in the field of street art. Their collaboration in Ludwigshafen combines Parisko's abstract lettering with Blaqk's minimalist black and white aesthetic.
"Moneybox" is the title of the monumental mural, which can also be read as lettering on the façade. On the one hand, it is based on the box-shaped architecture of the building, on the other hand on its function: a financial institution.
The Sparkasse Vorderpfalz was one of the first supporters of the Muralu street art project who agreed to provide an external wall. The design of the mural was developed in close consultation with the Sparkasse Vorderpfalz and the Wilhelm Hack Museum. Thomas Traue, Chairman of the Board of Sparkasse Vorderpfalz, emphasises: "Energy and inventiveness deserve to be supported. We were very happy to participate in the Muralu street art project from the very beginning and supported it with our Sparkasse Foundation. The results are impressive. Within a very short time, the three Greek street artists Paris Koutsikos, Greg Papagrigoriou and Chris Tzaferos have created an attractive eye-catcher on our wall in Rheinuferstraße."
A Forest: Das Kind. November 2020
Green, green, green is all I see...
From 5th November 2020
This rhyme from a german children's song is something the artist LIMOW wants to strip off: Namely, he will only leave as much greenery on this house façade in Karlsbader Straße 23, Gartenstadt-Niederfeld, as his sketches envisage! These plans are of a nature that playfully and easily tell of special fantasy creatures, and will be quite unusual and thus fascinating. I am not allowed to reveal more; David's sketches were allowed to be photographed, but only under the condition that they not be shown until the complete work is finished. So I follow his work almost daily and only present his ideas afterwards; I'm sure it will be very interesting!
I can accompany this artist during the creation of his work; this is a unique opportunity to follow thoughts, sketches, hand strokes, colours and so on, which were planned beforehand, as they grow into reality - and thus also necessary corrections! Real life, then...
If you want to know something about the artist, you will hardly find anything on his website: Limow acts extremely publicly, but is equally extremely reticent about private matters. Look here. Nevertheless, he is a very open and pleasant person! Born in Spain in 1972, he has been living in Heidelberg for some time, but he speaks English.
LIMOW: This artist's name is derived from "Living in my own world". LIMOW uses fairy tales and stories in his works, depicting people, animals and mythical creatures in surreal landscapes.
Title of this work: "A Forest: The Child": Giant creatures look down on the little boy waiting for the bus with his cat: as we will only see clearly at the end! *smile
5th November 2020: Everything is still green, only some auxiliary lines are stretched; and the author of the article as well...
6th: The rough outlines of the figures are created. The areas marked with X are filled in by a young artist who was also involved in the graffiti work in Ebertpark.
7th: Oha! Are there already halfway clear figures to be seen? I mean, I can see some ears around some faces...
David sets more guide lines at the bottom.
8th: Limow jokingly said today that he had acquired another slave artist! Two days ago it was a young man, today a young lady.
9th: Progress is being made bit by bit!
11th: The details are beginning to emerge!
13th.: Today's article has become a bit more extensive, because Limow invited me onto the lift truck! So I managed to take some extraordinary pictures; despite my fear of heights...
17th: Very tedious work: designing the details!
19th: The elaboration becomes finer and finer, and thus the overall work more and more fascinating.
21st: You might think that not much has happened! Firstly, however, small things move slowly, and to make matters worse, Limow had to repair areas washed out by the light rain that had not yet dried after his work.
23rd: Unbelievable! Limow actually wanted to be finished on 12th November, after one week after beginning: "This was my plan", says Limow.
But as it is in life, things rarely work out as perfectly as planned! Today, however, the very last work has been completed: the last mistakes have been corrected, a few nice details have been added... Done, one would think. Only: Limow has to come again, because his signature is still missing at the foot of the work!
Now I may insert the sketch that Limow showed me on the first day. If you look closely, you will see small deviations: these are the freedoms an artist needs during work!
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT BY LIMOW
Thank you very much for your fantastic article. Very fresh and real, I wouldn't change anything :).
It was very nice to have you for documentation, you are very committed with your work and clearly you love and respect art, it's been a pleasure to work with you.
I wish you all the best Norbert, we keep in contact!
Artist Duo Video.Sckre
At Hochfeldstraße 155, Ludwigshafen's Gartenstadt, a building belonging to the housing company GAG is being decorated again; apparently GAG has taken a mighty liking to the previous project?
This German-Austrian artist duo consists of Julia Heinisch (*1990, Linz) and Frederic Sontag (*1988, Ludwigsburg). The two have combined their creative energies and are constantly working together on art projects and commissions.
A central theme in their artistic works are the various forms and facets of nature. Their tools are paint rollers, brushes and spray cans.
The duo has deliberately refrained from giving the mural a name; titles would always imply something specific, but viewers should think about it for themselves
When I asked Julia how far they stick to their sketches: "Only roughly! The overall work is clearly given, but the intuition during the work is an important, artistic point of view; without this freedom it would just be painting off..." And who is 'responsible' for which work on such a piece? "Frederic usually does the parts with graffiti elements, I take care of nature with all its facets." "Yes," Frederic adds, "in my youth I was addicted to graffiti. Like many others, I often had to atone for it because we simply didn't have any approved areas to let our art run wild. Nowadays, fortunately, things are different: graffiti, like façade painting, has become a recognised art form that gets attention all over the world." He goes on to point out that he was even invited to Kyrgyzstan once to show a piece of work: "Without payment, but also without any expenses..." and winks happily.
Somehow I have to smile at his statement "in my youth": with his almost 23 years, he still belongs to the youth for me... And he is already really successful: the next project will soon take place in Vienna, where the two of them will be allowed to design a concrete wall three metres high and 18 metres long.
I ask Julia how it is possible to paint such clear contours on such a rough surface with a brush or even a paint roller, and then you both come with a spray can and fill in these contours without touching them even once; unbelievable to me! Julia smiles charmingly: "Well, practice! Like everything in life!"
At the end of the work, I am still interested in how Frederic feels about such a work: does he feel pride? After a long look at this wonderful house wall, he says: "Pride, I guess not; that was certainly the case with the first works. Now it's just satisfaction!" And he adds after another long look: "I can see some flaws here and there where I didn't do a perfect job; so it's still a long step to real satisfaction.
Oh yes: they both ask me for one more shot. "Can you take another shot in the late evening sun? It looks really good when the last rays fall through the trees in the background and paint wonderful light/shadow effects on the house wall..."
For a few days I was not able to do that: there was no more evening sun.... It was only on 7th June that I was able to fulfil my promise!
Please note the art presentations of this duo on this page.
Unfortunately, I was indisposed during the first days of the creation, but I may fall back on photos by Andreas Heinrich: Thank you very much, Andy!
25th May 2021
From here on I was personally in action....
In this article I not only show the general progress, but focus your attention on the details: it is almost unbelievable how filigree the work is! On a big sheet of paper, yes, you can imagine that; but on a surface that is so incredibly rough, the true skills of these artists show... Look and marvel!
30th: Final day...
I just asked the two artists for a simple portrait; the pre-last picture in the article above is a snapshot before the session started.
Unfortunately, I couldn't decide on a 'real' portrait, which is why I'm showing you the short series of pictures in one piece: You'll see why I can't shortchange any of the pictures of this friendly couple....
Please be patient, this picture show runs automatically! But you can always have a look at a photo in its original size: just click on it.
Addendum of my personal observations:
The reactions of walkers were enormously positive, praise was anything but sparing! Many car drivers also stopped spontaneously and expressed their enthusiasm with signs or words. Julia said that once there was actually a rear-end collision at one of their works...
Palm tree near the Rhine River, Ludwigshafen, Germany
In Ludwigshafen's Gartenstadt, Hochfeldstraße 135, a colourful façade painting is being created almost at the same time as the previous project, Video.Sckre.
Agostino Iacurci (1986) was born in Italy and lives in Berlin as of 2017. Since 2009, the artist has painted a lot of murals around the globe. He also devotes himself to plastic art, classical painting and installations in public spaces.
Please also have a look at his art presentations on this page!
The motif is meant to be a 'discreet' hint that due to global warming palm trees will soon grow in Ludwigshafen too *smile*
Let Forever Be, Juli 2021
From 3rd to 9th July
Despite her young age, the Polish artist Natalia Rak has already had a remarkable artistic career. In 2011, she began with her first large-scale paintings; since then, she has been booked worldwide and has also participated in various noteworthy street art festivals. You can read about her career here.
Let yourself be carried away into the world of Natalia Rak's murals!
To the work at Hochfeldstraße 137, Ludwigshafen-Gartenstadt:
The artwork is created on the other side of the façade of the same building where the palm tree is already emblazoned: please look at the previous article Agostino Iacurci.
Natalia started her work in the darkness of the evening of 3rd July 2021: a projection on the wall of the building allowed her to sketch the entire future work. Unfortunately, I was not able to document this, I only captured the result on Saturday, 4th July.
The next day I was able to talk to Natalia for the first time. When I asked her if her work had a name, she shook her head with a smile: "No! Not even a working title". Spontaneously I thought of: "Lady in Bath", because this central motif caught my eye first. "Why not?" laughed Natalia.
A few days later, the work became much clearer and I renamed it "TeaTime'" for myself.
Additions by other photographers:
My heartfelt thanks to Murat Bilir and Andy Heinrich! :-)
Udane Juaristi (Udatxo)
1 - Alte Straßenbahn, Juli 2021
2 - Valentin-Bauer-Straße, Juli 2021
This young Spanish artist began her work at Franz-Josef-Erhart-Straße no. 5 on July 7. Udane brought her cousin Olaia Ibañez with her as reinforcements.
These two extremely nice and cheerful young women painted not only this façade, but also that of house no. 7.
In response to my question, I was allowed to see a kind of sketches: photomontages with one main shareholder each, behind them historical photographs of Ludwigshafen. My understandable request for the sketches to be made available was - understandably - not answered... ;-)
Later Udane told me: "The museum sent me some old photos of the city, specifically the Valentin-Bauer neighborhood. I made some montages with the old photographs and some of my own current photos on Photoshop, mounting my idea, the final sketch. I am painting on the wall based on this sketch.
The museum also sent me photos of the walls to get an idea of what they were like."
What I had seen on these sketches bleed me away! I was very curious to see how the artist would implement this. In any case, the two facades will become an absolute eye-catcher, although the street is a little hidden. Maybe this article will change that!
I wish to redirect you to the homepage; but even there you won't find a biography: Udane seems to be hiding...
Udane works only with brushes, and in a very special technique: There are no clear contours, much is only hinted at and only from a certain distance results in an overall picture, which is in its slightly amorphous form particularly fascinating.
Equally fascinating are the mass details, some of which have been incorporated as tiny brushstrokes and hint at a kind of impressionalism that runs over the entire oeuvre anyway. My close-ups certainly illustrate this.
First project: Starts 7th July 2021 - Ends: 14th July
Second project: Starts 14th July 2021 - Ends: 20th July
The last mural project this year was created from 26th up to 31th July 2021 in the Hemshof (district of the City), on an old façade next to the venerable Maffenbeyer, the oldest pub in Ludwigshafen. The brick façade was preserved; a novelty among the previous murals in Ludwigshafen!
A woman as if from a fairy tale, in harmonious unity with aviation animals from dream and reality.
About the person:
Lula Goce is a Spanish urban artist who lives by the sea in Galicia, where she was born.
Lula creates certain imaginations, powerful, huge photorealistic scenes that are characterized by bright colors and a strong expressiveness. She fuses people with nature, adding fresh inspiration and "poetry" to her creations.
Lula lived in Barcelona for a long time, where she obtained a Ph.D. (highest academic degree in the field of philosophical faculties) as well as a master's degree in artistic creation at the Fine Art University of Barcelona. Her spectacular works can be seen all over the world on walls, at art festivals and in prominent art centers.
On 13.7.2022 began preparations for a new mural, at the bunker of BASF in Brunckstraße. The artist began work on 15.7: Actually, the underground of the bunker should remain unchanged. But since the photo sent to him, on which he based his color designs, differed from the brightness of the concrete color on location, he discarded his original plans and decided on a primer in a wonderful blue; he also had to adjust his sketched colors for the spray work.
Since 2010, the incredibly intricate works can be admired all over the world, please check out the artist's website, your eyes will pop!
DALeast showed me a sketch in advance, which impressed me enormously: In his delicate way of spraying, he will raise two sides of the bunker into a work of art that stylistically reflects the clouds of the surrounding sky.
13. - 16.7.
From 20.7.2022, a new mural was created in Saarlandstraße, the sketch of which I could not see beforehand, but only discovered during the work. These extraordinary paintings, which describe impossible realities, are somewhat reminiscent of the Dutch artist M.C. Escher.
The two façades are accessible to a wide public, as the buildings are located on a main road near the city centre; accordingly, the attention is great!
From starting 19.7.2022 up to 26.7. 2022
A documentary, which shows especially how concentrated work has to be done on such a great work. The other photos are just very beautiful....
Thank you for getting the chance to know both of you!
Blaqk - Buja - Cose - Czolk - Dome - Limow - Parisko - Richter
Walls and steles in the Ebertpark, Ludwigshafen, Germany
In the context of the Muralu project, an idea was suddenly born after a long period of stagnation: In the former "rose garden" of the Ebertpark, walls and steles formerly covered with roses were lying dormant: this was crying out for "street art": paint us!
Several regional and national artists answered this call and set to work with joy, as the results prove.
A pleasant and surprising fact: two of the artists from the previously shown project 'Moneybox' still had some time left and spontaneously joined this joint action: you will certainly recognise their 'handwriting' in the following pictures.
They were also joined by Limow, who unintentionally took longer with his project and was therefore still in the area.
So here we go into the realms of Ebertpark, looking not only at the individual works but also at the environment in which they are placed.
Under their works you will find links to their respective pages: one can only be speechlessly amazed there...
The duo Blaqk carries the fascination for black not only in the name. Their monochrome murals play with calligraphy and abstract forms. In Ebertpark they create an urban design in the midst of green nature
Based in Dudenhofen near Speyer, Germany, the artist playfully and often ironically combines iconic images from art, pop culture and everyday life. For his mural in Ebertpark, he combines an image of the Virgin Mary with a pink dung heap emoji. This is how art and everyday life collide!
The Mannheim-based street artist is known for his animal pieces, especially the tough-cute panda bears. His figures seem to come from their own cartoon worlds and almost want to tell their own stories.
Working in Mannheim, Germany, Czolk is a graffiti artist and illustrator. He likes to create his designs in black and white or with limited color to draw attention to his expressive lines. The abstract patterns of his mural in Ebertpark allude to parts of the park. The yellow canisters are a reminder that as guests of nature, we must be responsible with the footprints we leave behind.
The artist, who comes from Karlsruhe, sets black-and-white motifs in gold-tinted ornamental scenes. In doing so, he combines elements from pop culture and art history. The magnolias he created for the Ebertpark reflect the magnolia tree growing in the immediate neighbourhood.
The Spanish artist LIMOW ("Living In My Own World") has always had a fascination for rhythmic patterns and fabulous animal creatures that have something mystical and dreamy about them. Four of them now guard a wall in Ebertpark.
Parisko's love of typography is always part of his murals. The column he designed in Ebertpark uses the play on words orea eora, which means "beautiful hammock" in Greek: in a double sense, then, an invitation to relax.
In addition to Moneybox, oddity is also a collaboration between the two Greek artists. The title is incorporated calligraphically into the motif. The abstract, monochrome forms encourage the viewer to look more closely and decipher the characters.
The Mannheim native studied art history and communication design and mixes both to create his very own visual language. For his colorful and blooming contribution he is inspired by the variety of flowers in the Ebertpark and reinvents the "wallflower"...