art, photography, travel
Comments 143

Street Art of Blu: Murals in Berlin and Lisbon

Blu, Friedrichshain, Berlin.

I stumbled upon Blu murals on my last two trips to Europe. While I love Blu’s mind-blowing wall-painting animations like Big Bang Big Boom and Muto, it’s cool to come upon his still images—and remnants of his animations—on facades around the world. Especially when you’re not looking for them.

City: Berlin // Neighborhood: Friedrichshain

Mural from across a parking lot.

The first mural, across the River Spree, taken from the Oberbaumbrücke.

Wider shot showing an adjacent mural.

Closer view over a poster-strewn wall.

Massive pink man, made of many little men, hiding next to the Oberbaumbrücke.

The massive man of tiny men, up close.

Location: Lisbon // Metro Station: Picoas

Blu in Lisbon

Shot of a Blu-bombed building at Picoas Metro Station, on the yellow line, as part of a collaboration with OsGemeos for the Crono Festival. 

Zooming in on the facade.

Straw detail.

Imagery along the curved corner of the building.

Shot from below. Details under ledges.

More street art in Berlin:

More from Lisbon:

143 Comments

  1. Pingback: Where Le Street C’est Chic: Street Art of Hong Kong | Writing Through the Fog

  2. I like how the murals make plain buildings come to life, especially if the buildings are in neighborhoods that are considered urban.
    Found this post through a post on street art that you commented. Nice to see fellow lovers of street art.

    Like

    • Sorry for the late reply — thanks for visiting. I’m in Cairo and came upon a street of art, stencils, and graffiti today. May post some here soon!

      Like

  3. Pingback: Street Art « For your amusement

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  8. When done properly (like in your examples) this sort of art is stunning and really grabs your imagination.

    Love the photos.

    Like

  9. Pingback: Street Art of Blu: Murals in Berlin and Lisbon (via Writing Through the Fog) « Geométrica Doméstica

  10. tochipat says

    Nice photos. Grafittis like the one you featured are quite new in our place.

    Like

  11. So glad I saw your post. Wonderful images of Blu murals. Really peaked my interest in photographing murals.

    Thanks and congratulations on being Freshly Pressed.

    Like

  12. Pingback: Street Art of Blu: Murals in Berlin and Lisbon (via Writing Through the Fog) « katysblogtime

  13. Pingback: Murals in Philly « BaNaNaIsm

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  15. Pingback: Street Art of Blu: Murals in Berlin and Lisbon (via Writing Through the Fog) « Art Perspective

  16. Pingback: Street Art of Blu: Murals in Berlin and Lisbon (via Writing Through the Fog) « emilyrachelgilley

  17. Basketball Artistry says

    I love the mural in Germany of the man with chained hands, dressed in a nice shirt and tie!!!

    Like

  18. Charlie Boots says

    Amazing. Europe has some of the best Street Art. I find it beautiful but I wonder how most Europeans feel about their street art. What is the prevailing attitude?

    Like

    • Hey Charlie–
      You know, that’s a good question, and I’m sure the attitude and response depends on each city. But I don’t know the answer for Berlin and Lisbon. I love graffiti, street art, and flyer culture, but in Lisbon I actually thought a great deal of the “street art” I saw was ugly and took away from some of the neighborhoods. (The BLU stuff is an exception, of course!) Lots of mindless, illegible tagging and scribbles, for instance. (And it seemed to be a dirtier city than others, so that added to it, too.)

      But yeah–very good question. Makes me want to look this up and see if anyone has written about it.

      Cheers,
      Cheri

      Like

  19. Hi there! I was also in both cities and surely prefer my own Lisbon also regarding to this art work.

    Hav a great week thx 4 sharing this nice images

    Like

  20. Superlike this! I’m so glad you chose to post these pictures intead of the done to death picture-postcard photos of cathedrals and blah blah :)

    Like

  21. Pingback: arte mural em lisboa & a história do universo | A Alfacinha

  22. Congratulations on FP!
    These pics are simply amazing! Thank you for sharing!!
    I like them all, especially the big- man of mini-men and the man drinking from the earth. Well shot!

    Like

  23. In the Pink Man one it looks to me like their inspiration came from Frognerparken in Oslo where there is a statue made in exactly the same way. Good art though. Thanks for posting.

    Like

    • Hey Eleanor–

      So, I Googled the place in Oslo and came upon images of statues by Gustav Wigeland — one is a tall, lean column made of “many men,” and from what I see it looks like there’s a whole sculpture park by this person. I think this is what you’re referring to, eh?

      Very cool. Thanks for the note!

      –Cheri

      Like

  24. Lucy NT says

    Cheri, I was so inspired by your mural pictures in Europe, so I looked for something similar locally. It turned out that Philadelphia has a lot of murals to offer, and the city has really high quality murals in the center city. So I took a self-guided mural arts tour with a friend today and took a lot of pictures. Even though my pictures don’t look as artistic as yours, i was so happy that I had a chance to experience an aspect of Philly that I would never have thought of without stumbling to your blog.

    Like

    • Aw, that’s great — I’m so glad to hear that! I maintain this blog to document my travels and musings for primarily personal reasons, so when you say you were inspired by some of the work featured here, it makes me happy. I have not been to Philly yet — I’ve been meaning to visit a friend there for years, but haven’t gotten around to it. I’d no idea the city was full of murals — good to know. Thanks so much for your comment.

      Cheers,
      Cheri

      Like

      • Lucy NT says

        You should definitely visit Philly when you’re back to the US. It is a dynamic city with a lot of public arts to offer. The murals are into depicting multiculturalism and US historical events and people because it is a program funded by the city. I will continue reading your blog for arts and traveling inspiration.

        Like

  25. Pingback: Some amazing pictures of street art in Europe « Varee Mathayom 3 EP

  26. Alan King says

    Blu’s work is amazing! Thanks for this post. I’m going to try to find more of this artist’s work online.

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  28. melissa says

    I remember seeing these when I was in Berlin, and they’re absolutely amazing!

    Like

  29. Pingback: Τοιχογραφίες σε Βερολίνο και Λισσαβόνα | Γιάννης Παιδής Blog

  30. Pingback: Τοιχογραφίες σε Βερολίνο και Λισσαβόνα | Γιάννης Παιδής Blog

  31. robynlia says

    I might just have to take a visit to Lisbon and Berlin… amazing work

    Like

  32. Great photos! Beautiful art in two cities I hold dear to my heart – thanks so much for posting and for hipping me to Blu. There’s so much to explore on your blog – keep up the great work and have a great weekend!

    Like

  33. Murals can be found in many cities around the world. But the ones in your photos captivated me instantly!

    Like

  34. Pingback: Bemalte Hausfassaden – dazu ein Linktipp | die bergmannstrasse

  35. pretty nice how the texture of the last building, lent to the realistic texture of the yellow hand holding up the man.

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  36. Pingback: BLU Movies « Machimon

  37. Dian Wijayanti says

    This is a nut job! But an extraordinary amazing one!! Love it!! :D Great pics!

    Like

  38. saltybi11 says

    That wall art is awesome… I lived in Virginia and Seattle and there were giant murals of whales that were done by the same guy!

    Like

  39. bulumakao says

    Nice art and nice of you to promote it but this post, like so many other blogs, is not based on your own work and has little of your own thoughts. It’s easy to post some photos. It requires effort (and talent) to write about and discuss them. Sadly, blogging is about posting frequently and trying to catch someone’s attention for 30 seconds. People view posts like this and soon forget them.

    Like

    • Hi there–
      I appreciate your straightforwardness, and take your criticism seriously, as I agree that many blogs are simply platforms for people to scrape content and images from other sources and regurgitate, alter, or present as their own. I totally admit this BLU post is one of my recent “lazy” posts — and believe me, I have a handful, as I’ve not felt inspired to write lately, and in the absence of a creative spark I look to my volume of photographs from my travels and do photo posts like this one, often with little of my own commentary.

      Yes, you are right: it requires little effort. So, I value your comments, and when I choose to highlight other writers’ or artists’ work in this way in the future, I will push myself to add something new to the equation.

      That said, from what you hint at — “It requires effort (and talent) to write…” — I feel you, likely a first-time visitor to my blog, are judging my entire body of work from this post. I always wonder how WordPress editors select Freshly Pressed posts, and if I were able to nominate a post for selection, this post would *not* be one of them! It doesn’t represent, truly, the writing I do and love. (I’m not saying I’m not grateful for the feature; I think it’s awesome it was selected.) I’d say 85% of the content on my blog is original nonfiction, memoir, and travel writing. But yes, I toss in colorful, fun, easy photography posts like this, too.

      If you are at all interested in the themes and ideas that I love writing about, select one of the Virtual Life; Life, Time, and Memory; Writing Life; or Love posts on my Top Posts page.

      Again, thanks for your feedback.

      –Cheri

      Like

      • Well handled :) Thanks for including the link, as I teach incarcerated teenage boys and use Art in the classroom as a way of inspiring them and keeping their attention. I hadn’t known of Blu or this clip (which I am going to now show them), so without your post not only I would be missing out, but my boys would be missing out too. Sometimes it’s okay to just share!

        Like

        • “Sometimes it’s okay to just share!” << I agree with this, too. Thank you! I'm glad you've found this post helpful for the work you do, and I think that's awesome you'll introduce BLU to your students. And what an interesting (and challenging, I'm assuming) line of work.

          Cheers,
          Cheri

          Like

        • bulumakao says

          Yes, that was a good response. Perhaps I was more annoyed at the many dumb responses like “Awesome!!!!” and “I love these images, so colourful and vibrant.” Reminds me of Twithead (Twitter). I wish you further success (whatever your goals and aspirations may be) in your blogging.

          Like

  40. Thomas says

    In addition to being fine art, some of the works were clearly intended to make a social statement, not too heavy-handed but obvious enough. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

  41. hmunro says

    *Extraordinary* post, Cheri! With 11 photos, you’ve settled the question I’ve asked many a time: “Is street art ‘art’?” Let’s hear it for a resounding YES!!! Thanks … and congrats on being Freshly Pressed. Well deserved!

    Like

  42. Art that’s free, beautifully made with a human a message to boot. If a person still can’t comprehend what it means, then he/she is numb to the worlds cry. Amazing photos!

    Like

  43. Great shots. After having documented street art in my city for years, this makes me really jealous. The art is amazing. i really appreciate your perspective – both long and close-up shots. Nice work.

    Like

  44. These are such great pictures! My wife is a long photography lover and I’m planning this day trip to the city (of Los Angeles) to take pictures… maybe not as good as these ones, but still.

    Thank you for sharing.

    -MTO

    Like

  45. love love love this!!!!!
    the commentary that is being reflected in the work is so outstanding. It makes me miss Europe. Beautiful shots! and loved the close ups. I love being able to look at details, its something you rarely get unless youre there in person! thanks for sharing!!

    Like

    • Hey Andrew–
      I agree about the close-ups…from afar, these murals are spectacular, but the details are equally awesome!

      Like

  46. okay duuuuh i feel retarded now, you posted the clip in your blog. nevermind. i’m so eager to get wordpress relevancy i didn’t even notice it before i commented.

    Like

  47. andykachel says

    The man made up of little men reminds me of Clive Barker’s short story, “In the Hills, the Cities.” Very ominous. Very cool.

    Like

  48. Lucy NT says

    Thanks for sharing this post. It is informative and inspirational. Do you know any such murals in the US?

    Like

  49. i have never been to lisbona, but i now berlin’s street art, which is realy great!
    you can find some street art’s photos on ma blog too :)

    Like

  50. Pingback: Street Art of Blu: Murals in Berlin and Lisbon « Writing Through the Fog | RantBabble

    • Yeah, I hear you how they complement each other. Both cities, particularly Berlin, are fitting landscapes for these murals. Thanks for the note!

      Like

  51. Julie Anongos says

    Neat shots! I especially like the “massive man of tiny men.”

    Like

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