SPRAY cans clink in Ali’s bag as he walks down a cobblestone street in Berlin’s post-hip neighborhood of Prenzlauer Berg. He stops in front of a grocery truck parked near a children’s playground and pulls out a can. With a fluid motion, he strokes his name in bubbly, bright red letters, before leaving his mark on a telephone booth, a dozen doors and a concrete wall next to the train tracks.
"It’s a great feeling doing a piece at night and coming back the day after to look at it,” said Ali, 31, an industrial designer who was dressed in baggy pants and a black hoodie and didn’t want his surname used to avoid prosecution. “I also see it as reclaiming the city and shaping my urban environment.”