The times where only framed pictures were considered art are over. Now we can see art all around us in what is now coined as Street Art. We can see how cities are shaped by colourful walls and new directions and so is Freiburg.
The beautiful city is located in the south of Baden-Wuerttemberg in the amazing Black Forest region. The historic city is a charming destination for tourists. From here you can easily reach Switzerland and France in no time. I was talking to a local, Adrianna, who was born and raised in the beautiful region. She will give us some insight on the influence of Street art.
Josefin: How did you get into Street art and why does it fascinate you?
Adrianna: Getting myself into street art, or more specifically graffiti, was by accident – after a series of events, where one led to the other. To put it shortly: I used to skate and was once looking for a specific skateboarding magazine. I didn’t find it in our local shop, but found one that sounded similar, so I took a look inside. It was a hip-hop magazine and had graffiti walls, trains, sketches and street art inside, which intrigued me. And I thought, yeah, I could try that – so I bought that very magazine and went from there, since I was affiliated with hip-hop and art anyway.
Josefin: Do you think street art in Freiburg is different from other cities ? And if yes what do you think is causing the differences?
Adrianna: Yes and no! The thing with street art and graffiti is, that every city has its local artists who paint their walls in their own style and in the cities special setting. Whenever I’m on the highway for example, I know where I am depending on the letters I see. It’s quite interesting how you can tell apart the ‘districts’.
Still there’s always more to see than the locals: other (well-known!) artists also visit the city and leave their marks, for instance BOND or HERAKUT, who have painted the Ganter brewery wall, to name two.
Special for Freiburg however is, that it is close to Strasbourg (France) and Basel (Switzerland) – two cities which also have a considerable street art community, there are galleries to visit and international collaborations to watch, and jams to attend.
Josefin: Which Street artists do you find great and what makes them stand out for you?
Adrianna: One of my favorite graffiti artists, DARE, comes from Basel. It is hard to describe that impression I have when I see his work – the letters just feel perfectly right with their certain flow. Even after his death in 2010 he remains to be a big influence.
To name a street art artist, I’d have to go with BANKSY, because thanks to him, street art has become more present and accepted. One can argue if that’s a good or bad thing, since street art is said to be commercialized, but hey: why wouldn’t you want people to buy your art if they like it?
Josefin: Which places are great in Freiburg and the general region to see Street art?
Adrianna: When you’re looking for street art in Freiburg , look around closely – it can be anywhere: by your feet, above your head or be a small piece hidden on a wall among stickers. Freiburg is one of the cities in Germany, which offer the most legal graffiti spots. If you take a walk along the river Dreisam, you’ll see a lot of graffiti, it’s almost like an art-lane. Go and visit the Schwabentorbrücke – if you’re lucky, you’ll see people painting and can sit comfortably at the river while watching them. If you’re at it, try one of our local beers!
If you’re adventurous, explore Strasbourgs galeries, see if you can spot INVADER in Basel, or check out the paint-headquarters in Lahr, who also feature many world famous artists in their backyard. Generally, you can find street art and graffiti in any city, you just have to keep your eyes open.
Josefin: Are there any places where people meet and do Street art together?
Adrianna: People often meet privately at their homes to sketch together to later transfer their idea onto the wall. If you’re looking to connect with artists, you can visit the local paint-dealers (e.g. Still Ill, Turmstraße 16) and have a chat. They are usually connected to the scene and have a clue what is currently going on. Especially in the summer time, Jams take place where people come together to hang out, listen to music and paint.
Josefin: Freiburg is a multicultural city. Do you think Street art brings people from different countries together?
Adrianna: As any form of art or interests do, I am convinced that street art and graffiti connect people. Especially with Freiburg being close to other countries and their big cities, a lot of exchange and collaborations happen. Artists are surely open and happy about working together wherever.
Since Freiburg has an university, it is naturally multicultural. Whenever people are confronted with (street) art, it leaves them with an impression, which can be an aesthetic feeling or a thinking about the artists intent. The city is your gallery.
Josefin: How are people reacting to street art? Years ago most people thought it was damaging city property but today you can see more and more street art which was actually a job they were hired to do. Ca we expect street art in the Louvre soon?
Adrianna: While painting at several spots in Freiburg, sometimes people stopped by to tell you that they were happy to see some fresh paint, or they expressed how grateful they are to not have grey walls everywhere. Others however always find something to criticize, like the spray dust, or tell you that they liked it better before. It certainly leaves room for discussion – but it’s no secret, that a lot of illegal graffiti and street art is unwelcome, which is understandable. Graffitis and street arts roots are rebellious, but these forms of art are being accepted more and more. A some years ago it would have been taken as a joke if you said that your work is displayed in a gallery. Now it’s popular and there are companies who commission street art/graffiti artists to work for them. Maybe next time, it’ll catch your eye.
Are you keen on checking out Freiburg and its hidden pieces of art? Yea, me too. Go on a stroll through the city and remember – art is everywhere.
Book your place to stay in the Black Forest Region by visiting www.bidroom.com and start saving now!