Six Urban Art Spots You Shouldn't Miss


Six Urban Art Spots You Shouldn't Miss

The museum that never closes 

Illegal, semi-legal, legal. In the 1980s, graffiti, tags, stencils and paste-ups were considered graffiti; today, much of it is considered art. And naturally, this street art is spread all over the city. Are you looking for a work by Harald Naegeli, the famous sprayer of Zurich, who already made a name for himself at the end of the 70s with his iconic reduced graffiti? Then take a look around Bilk, where Naegeli lived for a long time, or wander around the city center. Or are you interested in the socially critical works of Klaus Klinger, the co-founder of Düsseldorf's annual 40 Grad Urban Art Festival? Then take a look at the Kunstbunker on Aachener Straße. Others might find their favorite work at Kiefernstraße in Flingern-Süd, famous for its colorful facades. For those who want even more, we've sifted out six particularly worthwhile works. By the way, some of them are part of a new tour that Klaus Rosskothen, owner of the Düsseldorf street art gallery Pretty Portal, is offering starting in March. On his Urban Art Ride through the city, he reveals which artist is behind which work and explains techniques and motifs.   

Mural Oberbilker Allee 287 by Os Gêmeos   

Under the name Os Gêmeos - Portuguese for "the twins" - the twin brothers Otávio and Gustavo Pandolfo from São Paulo are among the best-known mural artists in the world. On the occasion of the initiative "Mauerwerk - Project for Art in Public Space," the Brazilians designed a 213-square-meter side facade at Oberbilker Allee 287 in June 2018. The colorful mural on the building of the AWO youth counseling center shows a surrealistic scene in which a man cradles a wooden boat with a girl and a dog in his arms. This is a typical motif of the twins, whose works often seem to spring from dream worlds and at the same time reflect elements of Brazilian folklore and mythology. Allusions to the consequences of colonialism and the harsh reality of life in the brothers' native Brazil can be found, as well as influences from hip-hop culture. All of this combines to create a visual language that is as surreal as it is poetic.  

B8 Center, Werdener Straße 87, How & Nosm 

Twins for the second time: Born in Spain, the identical twin brothers Raoul and Davide Perré lived in Düsseldorf for a long time and took up spray cans as teenagers. In addition to painted trains, they left some of their artwork on the Kiefernstraße in Flingen. The pair of brothers now live in New York and are among the best-known street artists worldwide with their works, which pay homage to the early graffiti scene thanks to a reduced color palette and motivic complexity. As part of the 40 Grad Urban Art Festival 2021, How & Nosm visited their old home and designed a facade at the B8 Center on Werdener Straße 87 with an expressive work. 

Beuys portrait Erkrather street 206 by Orticanoodles 

The Italian artist couple Alita and Wally, known as Orticanoodles, are known for their exceptionally complex and multi-layered stencil technique. In their workshop in Milan's Ortica district, they follow the tradition of Pop Art: portraits of well-known personalities are combined with a gaudy color scheme reduced to the primary colors, often supplemented with fragmented quotes from the people depicted. In Düsseldorf, Orticanoodles left behind a painting by Joseph Beuys, flanked by one of his famous bon mots: "Whoever won't think, flies out."  

Mural Suitbertusstrasse 151 by Pixelpancho 

Pixelpancho is about robots. "I am driven by a forgotten world hidden under a thick layer of dust and dirt. There are robots there, as a creation of humanity, dented and worn, a symbiosis of the organic and the inorganic, with the rusted iron of their bodies falling apart," says the Italian-born artist, who studied at the Albertina Academy of Fine Arts in Turin and later in Valencia. His motifs and unique style are highly recognizable. In Düsseldorf-Bilk, Pixelpancho resurrected one of his forgotten mechanical journeymen on a facade in Suitbertusstraße.  

Mural Brunnenstraße 12 by Fin DAC  

Irish artist Fin DAC has also left his mark on Düsseldorf. With the help of a striking color-stencil style, he combines elements of contemporary art with urban art in his works. The self-taught non-conformist calls his art "Urban Aesthetics" and sees himself influenced by everything from dark graphic novels to the works of Francis Bacon and Aubrey Beardsley. At 12 Brunnenstrasse, next to the Pretty Portal gallery, he has embellished a wall and the ceiling of a building entrance with one of his portraits of women. It's an image of an Asian woman whose delicate black and white rendering is contrasted with a large splash of color just above her eyes.  

Jülich Bridge, 70 different artists*. 

"Thinking Bridges" was the motto of the 40 Grad Urban Art Festival 2019, with which the organizers wanted to set a sign against fascism. It was implemented by over 70 locally, regionally and internationally renowned graffiti and urban artists on a 2,000 square meter area in the direct vicinity of the memorial to the deported Jews at the old freight station. Many of the works have a political background or refer to the history of the site. Among others, Otto Schade from London and George Koftis from Greece, but also local greats like the graffiti veteran Oliver Räke aka Magic and the Majo Brothers Marc and Joe Henning. With the help of a QR code, you can access an online audio guide on site, which will guide you through the location and provide you with information about the participants. 

Title image: Düsseldorf Tourism

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