these are the photos i’ve taken of graffiti pieces all over Munich.
Munich as the cradle of graffiti art: a journey through the 80s and 90s
Munich, a city known not only for its magnificent architecture, but also as the birthplace of German graffiti art. The 80s and 90s marked an era in which the streets of the Bavarian metropolis became creative canvases. Let’s delve into the fascinating history of this up-and-coming urban art movement without naming specific artists.
As early as the 1970s, the enigmatic word “Heiduk” appeared on the walls of Munich’s buildings and gave rise to speculation. But it wasn’t until the 80s that the city was swept up by a fresh wind from overseas. The influence from New York, particularly through the style-defining graffiti film “Wildstyle”, also reached the Bavarian hinterland, more precisely Buchloe in Ostallgäu.
Matthias Köhler, better known as “Loomit”, is considered one of the pioneers of the German graffiti scene. He took his first artistic steps on a water tower at the entrance to the city. He worked on this concrete colossus at night and quickly realized that graffiti attracts attention and can be more than just a night-time hobby.
The year 1985 marked a milestone when seven sprayers, wrote European graffiti history at the idyllic Geltendorf S-Bahn terminus. In the freezing cold, they painted an entire S-Bahn train – a “Whole Train”. This bold act was perceived not only locally but also internationally as an absolute sensation.
The success of the “Whole Train” did not go unnoticed. The railroad police set up the first German graffiti task force, and Loomit had to do over 100 hours of community service, the irony being that he had to renovate a youth café that ended up being colorful instead of white.
The graffiti scene in Munich expanded as it became increasingly well-known. Even Lord Mayor Christian Ude became part of Loomit’s art when he embellished his bathroom in 1993. The recognition of street art continued to develop, also thanks to the support of civic graffiti fans and art lovers.
Why Munich became the cradle of the graffiti movement can also be explained by the city’s high artistic standards. In a city with numerous art galleries and a pronounced sense of aesthetics, graffiti artists had to compete with the beauty of the city. The history of graffiti in Munich in the 80s and 90s is characterized by creative freedom, a pioneering spirit and the development of a unique urban art scene.