I flew over to Berlin for the weekend on Saturday 12th January 2019 to check out the latest and largest exhibition to date by Futura: ‘The Five Elements’ at the Urban Spree gallery, whilst on my visit I had the chance to check out the Urban Nation Museum.
This museum is a building space dedicated to international urban contemporary art. It opened back on September 16th 2017, by its vision and creative director Yasha Young. It is located in the district of Berlin-Schoneberg, inside a building from the Wilchelminian era, which has been converted to create the museum. Urban nation is the worlds first major institution built to champion and archive street art and graffiti, which has now developed into a global movement. The museums director, Yasha Young, has stated that the works are just an ‘extension of what happens on the streets’, and that they would never ‘chop off’ work that has been made outside and put it in on display. ‘The art in here is not street art and its important to show that these artists do also work on canvas’ she has said.
The museum is filled with the artwork from over 100 artists, with the example in the above picture by the Belgium street artist Jaune. The Urban Nation initiative goes beyond the classical notion of the museum and reinvents the idea with activities that have an impact beyond the four walls of the museum. Since 2013, Urban Nation under the curatorial direction of Miss Young has been inviting international artists and aspiring talents of urban contemporary art to Berlin to show their works within the urban fabrics of Berlin: on building facades, house walls and shop windows. Urban Nation has been transforming Berlin’s facades into giant outdoor gallery and connecting people with their city using outdoor art and integrative neighbourhood projects.
After visiting the museum I had the chance to experience these facades as I explored the surrounding areas, in particular along the main strip as I walked towards the train station. I would recommend a visit to Urban Nation if you are in Berlin, not only to street art enthusiasts but also to the wondering traveller, who likes to explore new and interesting topics within the art world, along with original methods for creating art work which is growing in popularity.