Berlin – the Wall

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Story Behind the Kiss

“When the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, Soviet artist, Dmitri Vrubel, decided to paint the iconic image on the east side of the Berlin Wall, along with paintings from other artists who descended upon the city in the heady days following the fall of the Wall. The caption that runs beneath Vrubel’s painting says: My God, Help Me to Survive This Deadly Love (Russian,) sometimes referred to as the Fraternal Kiss (German: Bruderkuss), or now simply called, The Kiss. It is on the Berlin wall, painted by Dmitri Vrubel,and is one of the best known of the Berlin wall graffiti paintings. Created in 1990, the painting depicts Leonid Brezhnev and Erich Honecker in a fraternal embrace, reproducing a photograph that captured the moment in 1979 during the 30th anniversary celebration of the foundation of the German Democratic Republic.”  (Wikipedia)

Of course, I had to Google the photo…smile

The Inspiring Photo for the painting

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Photo that inspired the mural of Breznev & Honecker, 1979.

“Brezhnev was visiting East Germany at the time to celebrate the anniversary of its founding as a Communist nation. On October 5, East Germany and the Soviet Union had signed a ten-year agreement of mutual support under which East Germany would provide ships, machinery and chemical equipment to the Soviet Union and the Soviet Union would provide fuel and nuclear equipment to East Germany.” (Wikipedia)

“The Berlin Wall was constructed in 1961 to separate Germany and Berlin during the Cold War. The wall was on the “death strip”. All the differences between the countries made it a perfect place for people to express their opinions, especially on their preferences and dislikes. In the 1980s, the wall was reconstructed and made 14 feet tall. Graffiting on the wall became popular for artists from all over the world and a place where tourists would go and admire the artwork. The West Berlin side of the wall had artwork completely covering the wall, while the East Berlin side was kept blank; as people were not permitted to get close enough to the eastside of the wall to paint anything.” (Source: Wikipedia)

Iron Curtain mal shows the extent of separation. A wall was not always used, many places it was a guarded barbed wire fence. Separation was even in bodies of water.

Iron Curtain map shows the length & countries it separated. It took many forms, walls, fences and nets even in bodies of water.

The highlight of Berlin, for me, was walking the a section of the Wall that still remains. Graffiti is looked upon as “expression through art,” by many Berliners. I must say, Berlin does have talented graffiti artist. In the rest of the city, the iron curtain or Wall was taken down and you only know where it was by looking at the ground where it is marked .

Here is a view of the Berlin Wall, as I walked it.

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Check Point Charlie, now is a tourist photo op.

Check Point Charlie is further over from the Wall itself. I thought it was funny that it is now a prop for tourist photos. A tourist trap…see the “M” for McDonald’s.

 

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Now, here is my favorite Wall painting  on the Wall. Keep going, it is interesting…

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Remember the painted Travant in yesterday’s post…the same Noir art. You can see that HERE.

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Then as I researched what Noir is – I thought it was the name of the painted characters …but it is the artist, Thierry Noir, who was the FIRST artist to graffiti the Wall!

“Painting on the wall was absolutely forbidden; it was built 3 metres beyond the official border so the east-German soldiers were able to arrest any person standing near it. Noir had to paint as quickly as possible, using the recipe of ‘two ideas, three colours’ as a celebration of the ‘eternal youth’.  Despite their bright colours and playful nature, the murals leave a lingering sense of melancholy: As Noir says, “I did nothing but react to its sadness.” (source: StreetartLondon.co.uk, T. Noir)

Thierry Noir (westside) Wall grafitti with East German guards on Eastside.

Noir (west) Wall grafitti with guards on Eastside.    Photo: Thierry Noir

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Artist, Thierry Noir stands by the Berlin Wall, 1980s. –  streetartlondon.co.uk, photo:Tierry Noir

mml-def-233kAs we walked the Wall, we were “entertained” by buskers. That was a new term for me. I looked it up and found many ways to define Busker…but this was my favorite.

 

 

 

 

The Neigh Kid Horse, a "busker."

The Neigh Kid Horse, a “busker.”

Busking for Berlin – Trailer (a documentary about the Berlin street scene) by Carl Tomich.

Berlin wall in 1990

Rubble of the fallen Berlin Wall, 1990         Source: Streetartlondon.co.uk

Whew!

Thanks for stopping by, again, this week to say, “Farewell” to Germany. We  are off to Poland

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