The East Side Gallery is an amazing sight. Now matter how cliché, “touristy” or uncool, it stands as an international memorial for freedom and a constant reminder of Berlin’s historical and political progression. I will never forget the first time I saw it, imagining crowds of people attacking its other parts on that fateful day in November 1989, tearing down a once insurmountable divide.
Created in 1990 by artists from all over the world, the sight is definitely worth a visit. Despite an increasing amount of mindless graffiti over the artwork (although as street artist DWANE points out, what is mindless and what is not? Contemporary graffiti makes the wall a “living” monument.) there is still an abundance of inspiration to be found. Here are our top 5 art pieces:
Thierry Noir’s cartoon faces of “Ohne Titel” are one of, if not the most, iconic images of artwork from The East Side Gallery. Noir is said to be the first artist to ever paint the wall, originally daubing the west side of the wall which was situated opposite his living space in Kreuzberg. As this was highly illegal the act had to be done at night time and with great speed, simple patterns and colors were adopted. When the wall fell his work was destroyed, and so he was invited to paint a section of The East Side Gallery, his brightly-colored cartoon faces immediately recognizable.
Heimler’s “The Wall Jumper” at the East Side Gallery. Photo: Chris Phillips
Just Another Brick In The Wall
Parisian artist Gabriel Heimler’s painting “The Wall Jumper” particularly stands out in my mind because of its reminiscence to Gerald Scarfe’s illustrations for the Pink Floyd album “The Wall.’ Depicting a spindly man jumping from one wall to the other (the Berlin wall actually being made up of two walls with a “death strip” in-between), it is hopeful yet sinister with hordes of people painted still trapped on the west side of the barrier.
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