In his famous quote, David Bowie called Berlin “the greatest cultural extravaganza that one could imagine”, known as an art scene among artists for many decades, this city rich in history hide many factors that contribute to the creation of its rich art scene. In this article, we are going to highlight the main aspects that made Berlin ahead of other European cities in the world of art.

Throughout history, Berlin has known multiple events that have shaped the art scene in this vibrant city. After the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989, many abandoned buildings in the city became available to artists at low rents which opened the opportunity for many artists from all over the world to install their art studios and galleries in these buildings. Berlin is also a city of innovation and artistic experimentation; the art movements shaped the contemporary art scene in Berlin. In the 20th century, expressionism was an art movement and international tendency that included theatre, music, the performing arts, literature, and architecture. Expressionist artists preferred to convey emotional experience over objective fact and physical reality. Beginning in 1905, expressionism persisted until about 1920 and it impacted in many ways and until today the art scene in Berlin. The Flux movement was also present in the Berlin art scene in the 1960s and left its impact, it was an international, interdisciplinary group of artists, composers, designers, and poets active in experimental art performances that prioritized the creative process over the final product in the 1960s and 1970s.

The cultural diversity in Berlin makes it also one of the richest places for creativity. It’s a multicultural city with a diverse population and varied cultural scene with artists from all backgrounds and disciplines. The artists are also attracted to this special city because of its relatively low cost of living and rent compared to other artistic cities like New York which remains in comparison very expensive. The city is also well established with numerous art galleries, art spaces, and museums all over the city that are easily accessible to the public.

Even though the art scene has flourished over the years in this vibrant city, it wasn’t unfortunately always the case; during the rise of the Nazi party in the 1930s, the freedom and creativity of artists knew many restrictions which led to many artists leaving the city, the ones who stayed faced censorship and persecution. After World War II and during the period of the division of the city, Berlin was divided into East and West. While West Berlin became well-known for its avant-garde art scene, East Berlin's authorities emphasized socialist realism. It’s after reunification that the city becomes more of a hub of international artists coming to experience the lifestyle of Berlin, one of the most important centers of Contemporary Art in the world.

Today, the city art boundaries are pushed in many ways, the city is full of galleries, museums, architectural splendour, and contemporary sensations. Street art in Berlin is another story, vibrant street art is just about in every corner of Berlin. What used to be the wall dividing Berlin into two parts is now one of the outstanding examples of Street Art in Berlin. The longest continuous stretch of the Berlin Wall remaining in existence is the open-air art museum in Friedrichshain on the banks of the Spree, which is 1316 meters long. The East Side Gallery started being painted by 118 artists from 21 nations as soon as the Berlin Wall came down, and on September 28, 1990, it was formally inaugurated as an outdoor gallery. A little more than a year later, it was designated as a protected memorial. Once it was a wall, now it’s the longest open-air gallery in the world.

Today, even though many young artists claim that Berlin's art scene is oversaturated and has enough competition as of 2023 and that the lockdown era had a significant negative impact on the art industry. Despite this, Berlin's diversity, affordability, and creative culture will continue to make it a popular travel destination for artists and art enthusiasts worldwide.