Cut It Out at Urban Nation, Berlin

"Eins92 works on the community wall outside Urban Nation".
Photo, Nika Kramer

BerlinArt & Culture

Stencil Sharpener

Berlin exhibition brings together legendary names for a crash course in the quick-fire graffiti discipline...

The tool of choice for the hit-and-run urban artist, stencils have been a major part of the graffiti scene since the 1960s – growing in popularity as the whole movement gained momentum through the 1970s and ’80s. Designed as a quick method of getting a message up without being “called out” or caught, stencils were designed to fit into backpacks or hidden underneath coats to avoid detection by the authorities. Hidden from view from the beginning, stencil work remains something of a mystery to those on the outside looking in, but a new show at Berlin gallery Urban Nation is helping to shed light on the shadowy technique with the help of some legendary practitioners.

Although Hugo Kaagman and Jef Aerosol have both been at it since the late ’70s, their involvement in the Cut It Out event is the first time they had met. The pair played a starring role in this exhibition, inspiring their colleagues as the group created new in-gallery canvas works as well as wall and car pieces out on the streets. Once considered rather naughty, stencil art has nevertheless been an important voice for political expression, and schools and colleges are being invited to watch the event unfold and learn about the movement’s historical significance. Names such as Stencil King and Epsylon Point are involved, with participants lending tools, materials and archive imagery along with their practical skills to build up a comprehensive picture of stencil art then and now. Closing date for the show, curated by Olly Walker (who captions our photos) and Henrik Haven, is 27 February.

@URBANNATIONBLN

Cut It Out at Urban Nation, Berlin

“Canvaz lays down the bear’s head stencil for the beautiful Cut It Out giveaway”.
Photo, Nika Kramer

Cut It Out! at Urban Nation, Berlin

“Gallery wall one, just finished”.
Photo, Nika Kramer

Cut It Out! at Urban Nation, Berlin

“Jef Aerosol’s amazing palisade, built and created on site for Cut It Out”.
Photo, Nika Kramer

Cut It Out! at Urban Nation, Berlin

“The King himself, Hugo Kaagman, applies his sense of humour and politics to his wall at Urban Nation”.
Photo, Nika Kramer

Cut It Out! at Urban Nation, Berlin

“Canvaz’s free pieces for the first 25 people through the doors”.
Photo, Nika Kramer

Cut It Out! at Urban Nation, Berlin

“M-City’s thought-provoking wall outside Urban Nation head office”.
Photo, Nika Kramer

Cut It Out! at Urban Nation, Berlin

“Kurar paints, as Urban Nation super-fan gives the thumbs up”.
Photo, Nika Kramer

Cut It Out! at Urban Nation, Berlin

“Alessio B: I Love Berlin on the side of a van donated for the artist to paint”.
Photo, Nika Kramer

Cut It Out! at Urban Nation, Berlin

“An amazing piece loaned to us by Orticanoodles shows the immense amount of work, and the sheer size they work at”.
Photo, Nika Kramer

Cut It Out! at Urban Nation, Berlin

“Artist Ouvrier’s super-detailed stencils being painted on the bonnet of the van”.
Photo, Nika Kramer

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