Fresh colour in the city
Urban Art in Düsseldorf
A city that has a lot of time for subcultures attracts young artists from all spheres: from graffiti and street art to embroidery and urban knitting to guerrilla gardening. Shrouded in mystery, the famous artist Banksy has fetched top prices all over the world for his works. And not only thanks to him, is Urban Art now considered a serious form of expression.
In Düsseldorf, what was illegal years ago is now highly regarded in many places. The approximately 2000 colourful Pacman ghosts by Pdot are just as much part of the cityscape as the ten Säulenheilige (Stylites) by Christoph Pöggeler. In the stations of the Wehrhahn line, among others, the artist Barto was allowed to go wild with his adhesive art.
The Uecker-Nagel in front of the Hotel Steigenberger, the Hornet mural on the K20 by Sarah Morris, the mosaic wall by Hermann-Josef Kuhna in Burgplatz - there are so many examples of how art in Düsseldorf has become part of public life. The astonishing thing about young Urban Art is: It comes and goes - and often flourishes in secret. Which masterpieces are to be found where? If you want to get the full picture of street art in Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Tourismus offers you guided tours. Those who want to get the art off the street and onto their own four walls should plan a visit to the Pretty Portal gallery near the Bilk train station. It is the definitive place to go for street art.
Urban Art Spaces
Art in public spaces
Urban Art in Düsseldorf
With the help of the websites 40grad-urbanart.de and dusseldorf.streetartcities.com, fans can make their own way through the urban street jungle. Anyone who wants to seek out an expert of the scene turns to Klaus Rosskothen, the owner of the Pretty Portal gallery. The two-hour “Urban Art Walk” which he offers guides you through the Friedrichstadt and Bilk districts. You will see works by jana & js, Fin DAC, Pixelpancho and LET.
The Düsseldorf urban art scene is diverse. One of the most happening and internationally active artists is the Frenchman LET, short for: Les Enfants Terribles. He sprays his large-format motifs on paper and then placards them as cutouts. Pdot can be seen almost everywhere, with the 2,000 colourful adhesive Pac-Men that haunt the city. Roman Klonek is known worldwide for his woodcutting, while Oliver Räke, a.k.a. Magic, is considered one of the city's best graffiti artists. His partner KJ263 helps spread Düsseldorf´s reputation beyond its borders. To this end, he always participates in co-ops with twin cities.
Kiefernstrasse in the Flingern district is a completely painted street and is considered the largest contiguous urban artwork in the city. What is also impressive is the towering mural “The Giants” in the Oberbilker Allee, which was created in 2018 by the world famous Brazilian twins Os Gêmeos. The name speaks for itself: “Rivertime” In 1997, the wall was designed by the artist Hermann-Josef Kuhna using acrylic paint on the outside staircase of the Rhine promenade. It was renovated in 2018 with ceramic tiles.
The Turin artist Pixelpancho has bequeathed Düsseldorf the Boui Boui Bilk giant robot. The Irish artist Fin DAC has also left his mark on Düsseldorf. His Asian beauties with a burst of colour around the eyes are known all over the world. The Brazilian street-art twins Os Gêmeos also have an international reputation. They are the ones who adorned a house in Oberbilker Allee with their mural “The Giants”. The Parisian Ardif is celebrated for his series “Mechanimals” which is a naturalistic mixture of creature and machine. These can be admired, for example, at Roncalli's Apollo Variety.
In the Friedrichstadt and Bilk districts in Düsseldorf, the concentration of urban art is right now the highest. This is why the street art tours of Düsseldorf Tourismus with Klaus Rosskothen are also offered here.
Two of the best spots are located at the Pretty Portal gallery in Brunnenstrasse near the Bilks train station. Both are by the French street artist Ardif. There is a zebra from his series “Mechanimals” right at the entrance of Pretty Portal. On the other side of the street, you can see Ardif's “Mechanimal” wolf.
The Hall of Fame is a publicly designated space where street artists can legally express their artistic passion. In Düsseldorf, the Hall of Fame is located in a street underpass at the Vennhauser Allee. By the way, the code of conduct in the community makes sure that the best work will never be painted over.
“Art and Magic in a German Metro” that is how the New York Times describes the Wehrhahn line. Along with the Darmstadt network architects, the artists Heike Klussmann (Pempelforter Strasse), Ursula Damm (Schadowstrasse), Ralf Brög (Heinrich-Heine-Allee), Thomas Stricker (Benrather Strasse), Manuel Franke (Graf-Adolf-Platz) and Enne Haehnle (Kirchplatz) developed the design concept for the six metro stations. Each station has a distinctive character with pictorial, sculptural, interactive, aural or geometrical qualities. In September 2017, the Wehrhahn line was awarded the Coda Award in the “Transport” category, which is a prize for art and design objects.