Ebookers follows Christiaan Nagel on his City Break to Berlin
Christiaan Nagel, worldwide street artist, was commissioned by a Secret Art Agency [ebookers] to travel to Berlin on a city break and put up as many of his brightly coloured mushroom installations.
During his city break in Berlin ebookers was able to film his secret journey in a bid to inspire you to become an Art Tourist. .During Christiaan’s city break he travels to some of the best places in Berlin to survey the fabulous artwork on display on the streets.
About the nHow Hotel:- Design, art and above all music define the nhow Berlin, which lies in the East Harbour on the River Spree. The interior design of the music and lifestyle hotel, with 304 rooms and suites, carries the signature of star designer Karim Rashid, while the architect is Sergej Tchoban. Unique for a European hotel is the nhow Music Sound Floor: above the rooftops of the capital music producers can find two world-class sound studios. Nhow represents a new generation of hotels; unconventional, positive, life-affirming, constantly in motion, locally based and at home in the world.
City breaks Berlin - Top 10 Places to visit in Berlin
Berlin is increasingly becoming a trendy tourist hot spot; by day you can soak up the art that adorns the walls around the city and tuck in to world class sausages and kebabs; and by night you can discover a hidden network of bars and clubs where intellects and artists are fused together for their love of music, art and the obscure.These make City Breaks More Exciting and Colorful in Berlin
The top 10 city break destinations you should visit when travelling to Berlin are:
1) East Side Gallery
The Berlin Wall The Berlin Wall East Side Gallery is a 1.3km-long section of the wall near the center of Berlin. Approximately 106 paintings by artists from all over the world cover this memorial for freedom and make it the largest open air gallery in the world and the best for City Breaks in Berlin
This once poor and downtrodden area, has risen from its ashes to become the epicenter for cool city-breaks; self-consciously semi-derelict hub of arts, ramshackle bars like the neon pink Barbie Deinhoff and clubs, including the world famous (and notoriously difficult to get in to) Watergate.
Grunewald (German for Greenwood) is a German forest located in the western side of Berlin on the east side of the Havel, mainly in the Grunewald locality. At 3,000 hectares (7,400 acres) it is the largest green area in the city of Berlin which makes it your favorite spot to visit for a City Break.
4) Mauer Park
Mauerpark is a public linear park in Berlin's Prenzlauer Berg district. The name translates to "Wall Park", referring to its status as a former part of the Berlin Wall and its Death Strip.
5) Haus am Checkpoint Charlie Museum
The museum exhibits an extensive collection of real-life stories, propaganda and memorabilia from the time of Berlin's occupation and division by the Allied Forces. Checkpoint Charlie itself was a former border crossing point between the American and Soviet occupational zones (1945 - 1990). Replicas of the US Army patrol hut and entry/exit sign can be found on the site.
6) Brandenburg Gate
The Brandenburg Gate is a former city gate, rebuilt in the late 18th century as a neoclassical triumphal arch, and now one of the most well-known landmarks of Germany and a central attraction for people away on a city break.
7) Kaufhaus des Westens
If shopping is your bag, look no further than Kaufhaus des Westens (KaDeWe) located in Schöneberg, it is the second-largest department store in Europe; trumped only by Harrods in London.
8) Schloss Charlottenburg
The Charlottenburg Palace is the largest palace in Berlin, Germany, and the only surviving royal residence in the city dating back to the time of the Hohenzollern family,Perfect destination for City Breaks or day trips.
With a name that requires no translation, this burger kiosk below the U-Bahn tracks is where Kreuzbergers go when in need of a meat fix. There are six types of hamburgers; vegetarians are welcomed with a tofuburger, but others should try the meistaburger, laden with mustard, onion, bacon and barbecue sauce, with a side of chilli-cheese fries. All snacks and sauces (including mango-curry) are freshly made with top-quality ingredients.
10) Berlin Zoo
A site Berliners are justly proud of, this large and very well-kept for City Breaks, Berlin Zoo is home to 13,700 animals and 1,400 species. The Berlin Zoo and its animals are part of local life and most Berliners will be aware of the news of a new arrival.
City breaks - Top 10 Places to see Mushrooms in London
- Comedy Club, Rivington Street
- Shoreditch Grind, Old Street Roundabout
- Dalston Overground Station, Dalston
- Shoreditch Overground Station, Shoreditch
- MBH Architects, Clerkenwell road
- Southwark Bridge, Southwark
- Depford High Street, Depford
- Basing House, Hackney
- Vyner Street, Regents Canal
- Broadway Market, Shoreditch
EBOOKERS What is Street Art?
CHRISTIAAN Public art that is generally illegal or unsolicited.
EBOOKERS What does art mean to you?
CHRISTIAAN Art to me captures the essence of our time. It’s a metaphorical representation of our socio-historical context.
EBOOKERS Why did you decide to make mushrooms?
CHRISTIAAN When you paint of sculpt your on auto pilot. You don’t think about it too much, but somehow the culmination of your ideas and mind gets channelled through the work. I can now stand back and say why mushrooms are appropriate to my opinions or ideas. The mushrooms are also growing in size and detail. It’s a bit of a practical joke gone too far. I consider it fine art. I don’t think potatoes would’ve worked all that well as a subject matter.
EBOOKERS What would you say to someone who thinks that Street Art is vandalism?
CHRISTIAAN You are right sir/ma’am. Most street art is. Well I’d say the line between street art and its forefather graffiti is still pretty blurred. I think the current definition of street art is works that are more reminiscent of the fine art movement. Street artist look for natural canvasses on the streets. The focus is on aesthetics. Graffiti is more of a counter culture, it’s more rebellious. Graffiti artist tag anywhere and everywhere, they don’t think about context that much.
EBOOKERS What is your favourite place in Berlin?
CHRISTIAAN Where the good people are. The sincere people. That’s mostly Pascal and Kolja at Urban Spree in Kreutzberg.
EBOOKERS What is your favourite piece of street art in Berlin?
CHRISTIAAN Roa, Blu, STIK and Os Gemeos. Creepo’s fists are also classic to Berlin.
EBOOKERS Name your top 5 favourite Songs on your iPod/iPhone?
CHRISTIAAN Leaning To Live -Dream Theater, Miserere Mei Deus -Alegri, 1812 Overture -Tchaikovsky, Raki -Oliver Mtukudzi, Devil’s Island -Megadeth.
EBOOKERS Who is your biggest inspiration?
CHRISTIAAN Keith Harring, Nelson Mandela, Steve Jobs, Michelangelo, Nietzsche.
EBOOKERS Name 3 Favourite Cities:
CHRISTIAAN Barcelona, London, San Fran, Cape Town, NYC. I haven’t done South America yet, but have some good friends there so definitely want to go down there at some stage. West Africa is crazy too.
Born 1982, in South Africa in a family of 6. Christiaan acquired a degree in Psychology in '04.
“I have always been painting. After University it was hard because all my friends got good jobs and made good money. In my circles people were bright and successful and made loads of money. I got a few part-time jobs, because I had to get by. I didn’t grow up in a culture filled with graffiti or any subculture like that. South Africa doesn’t really have that like in Europe or the US. But I had that counter culture in my blood. So I got this one job as an estate agent sort of thing. It was for a new development that was being sold as fractional ownership. It was a shit job and I got fired 3 weeks later. I was very happy to leave. It was a very frustrating time and I was broke. My greatest passion was painting and it’s all I wanted to do. This is when I started working with car paint. I would make these canvases from hardboard, frame them and then airbrush them with car enamel. I didn’t like the texture of traditional canvases. I wanted something radically modern looking but traditional somehow in subject matter. I sold one of my older oil canvases at this bar/gallery in my hometown, Durban. The lady who was curating the space, Tamlyn Martin, suggested I take that money and do a proper exhibition. I did that and made 30 paintings. The show sold out on the first night. It was 2005. From here I took a Volkswagen Combi and travelled South Africa. It was a bit like the rockstar model of traveling partying and working. I would show wherever I could. I just wanted to paint and show my work. I would take my paintings wherever art was being sold even to some lame framing shops in shopping malls. I had such a big body of work all over South Africa that I kinda lost track of. I have about 20-40 works scattered around SA and I have no idea where they are.”
In 2007 Christiaan was invited to do his first international show in London, Goodge Street.
“It was this bogus agency and I didn’t sell a single piece that night, because no-one knew about it. Essentially only my friends came to the opening. I eventually sold most of the pieces off my own back. But it got me to England! I was hungry to be a full-time artist and there was no going back for me. London will always be a home for me. It is 6 years later now.”