New facade for the URBAN NATION museum: Dave the Chimp & friends make the case for more solidarity

  • by Stefan Fellechner

Street artist, skateboarder and illustrator Dave the Chimp, who has lived in Berlin for many years, has redesigned the facade of the URBAN NATION museum. In collaboration with four other artists (Mina, Señor Schnu & Lunartik and Humble Writerz) who followed Dave the Chimp’s invitation to design individual elements, he has created a wall mural measuring fifty by seven metres at Bülowstraße 7 in Berlin’s Schöneberg district.

The artist Dave the Chimp in front of the new museum facade. Photo: Nika Kramer

The URBAN NATION museum’s new facade is covered in a mural that looks like an archaeological dig and calls to mind Stonehenge and other similar, famous locations. Populated by a group of orange-coloured “human beans”, the famous characters created by Dave the Chimp, a number of episodes that are humorous as well as full of social critique reference the real world and give a strong commentary on the current coronavirus situation. As the “human beans” balance on planks and boards between stones and rocks, it becomes clear that they cannot master the difficult path without social cohesion and social solidarity. They overcome obstacles and reach their common goal only by being there fore each other and mutual support.“If you get the chance to do something important, you should take others along with you. For that reason, I invited some friends to help me design the facade. ‘We’, not ‘I’, should be everyone’s goal. The wall was not designed to be one single image that is easy on the Instagram-fed eye but challenges those who look at it to actually get off their sofa, to leave the house and to see the wall and explore it. After all, visual exploration is what street art was all about before the social media reduced it to a mere digital content. Go outside! Explore the wall! See an adventure! And leave your mobiles at home!,” so the artist Dave the Chimp.

The current facade design of the URBAN NATION museum is colourful and multifaceted. Photo: Nika Kramer

The characters and illustrative pictures painted by the artists are key characteristics of street art. Due to its colourful and storytelling nature, the work develops a narrative that communicates with passers-by and those who stop to look at it. “As the curator of the URBAN NATION’s ‘One Wall’ facade programme, I am particularly delighted that Dave the Chimp invited another four artists who also live in Berlin to participate in this collaborative project. Each of them has added their own individual and artistic touch to this work of art. The new facade design is a great example of the diversity of Berlin’s street art scene, which we, as a museum for urban art forms, find very interesting and will also increasingly address in future,” says Jan Sauerwald, the director of the URBAN NATION museum.

About Dave the Chimp

The oeuvre of the artist Dave the Chimp, who was born in the UK and lives in Berlin, was initially defined by skating and fanzines. Today, it ranges from his well-known “human beans” to playground designs. He works as an illustrator, art director and publisher, as well as an architect who creates sculptures that you can skate on. He is best-known for his “human beans”: painted beans that spread positive energy and illustrate issues such as change and activism. The Berlin-based artist has already been able to present his works within the scope of several sole exhibitions throughout Europe. He has also participated in group exhibitions together with renowned greats of the urban art scene such as Banksy, Miss Van, Swoon, Shepard Fairey and Space Invader.

Both Jan Sauerwald and Dave the Chimp are available for interviews. If you are interested in interviewing either of them, please contact us at can find more information about URBAN NATION here Follow URBAN NATION on Instagram and Facebook 

(Museums Management and choice of artist: Jan Sauerwald)