Monday, 30 November 2015

The East Side Gallery Berlin Wall, Part One

The largest section of the Berlin Wall doubles as an art gallery. Way back in 1990, right after the collapse of a divided Germany, artists were invited to paint murals on the East German side of the wall, the side free from graffiti. Time flies, a restoration has taken place and still the wall evolves with added scribbles.

Looking down the Wall.

A look at a little history, Gorbachev driving. Nice repurposed steering wheel.  Turks, the largest minority in Germany, are represented.

The most famous mural on the wall is of Leonid Brezhnev locked in a deep kiss with Erich Honecker. The artist is Dmitri Vrubel. Bliss!

The Berlin Wall as fantasy. Did you know there was a Japanese sector? Parting the Wall like the Red Sea.

Inevitable. Pink Floyd's The Wall on The Wall.

Classic designs that have made it onto plenty of Wall-related souvenirs.

Fighting panda, using symbols for each side of the formerly divided Berlin, a TV tower and bear.

Friday, 27 November 2015

The Light Falling On Berlin Buildings

The sun is up in Berlin, finding its way through the urban grid to create patterns on various buildings.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Sticker Madness In Berlin, Part Two

Continuing our survey of the finest in sticker art of Berlin.

Choose carefully.

Signs of affirmation?

There is no future, backwards or forwards.

Ads for a local Ramones museum, fittingly messy. Is late night child porn a thing?

A hard thing to admit.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Sticker Madness In Berlin, Part One

Graffiti is a reality in parts of Europe, growing like kudzu on walls and other less-tended surfaces. We've seen work in Cyprus, Bratislava and our current hometown of Vilnius. There's a bit in Berlin (hello Berlin Wall) but the government must be doing a bit of a clean up operation to keep graffiti in check. What's an itchy artist to do? Move to stickers.

Photo strip from hell. Genius.

Easy, peaceful math.

Amping up the rats.

Sex on a sticker. "Is that a tongue in your mouth or are you....?"

Retro implant.

What throwing up a what? Stay away from the bad kid.

A welcome European crest.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Memorial To The Murdered Jews Of Europe

This blog item headline is the official name for the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin. What else is there to say?

The site is a sloping plaza filled with dark grey rectangular columns of various heights. One can't help but think of a field of somber coffins. There's enough room to walk your own path through the 2711 columns, contemplating the ever-changing landscape.

The memorial. The flag in the background? The United States', flying over its embassy.

Depending on light, people appear and quickly disappear among the grid.

Inside view.

The overall feeling is of a nightmarish dream.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Reliving The Cold War In Berlin

Take a single step in Berlin and chances are you will be crossing a Cold War reminder. The Berlin Wall meandered through the heart of the town and the scars are ever present. History, right under your feet!

A couple of blocks of the Wall, looking from East Berlin.

One clever thing Berlin has done is mark the path of the Wall in the places where it no longer stands. Cobblestones or other markings in the ground act like a perverted Yellow Brick Road. If you can't get enough of life size, check out a museum model.

Checkpoint Charlie, the crossover to another world. Now, a photo-op. Of course, a McDonald's is right next door.

A warning in four languages. Got it? History distilled down to a punch line.

One nice touch at Checkpoint Charlie is a double-sided portrait. Heading into East Berlin, you get a shot of a DDR soldier. Fair warning. GI Joe is on the other side.

You think the whole thing is only preserved for tourists? There are still original remnants, maybe ripped up, but not removed. Sections of the Wall and a guard shack, not re-purposed. Old church, old Soviet TV tower. The Soviets loved their TV towers.
New Berlin, meet old Berlin. Transformer boxes, with authorized paint job (who approved a dog peeing?) in front of Berlin Wall sections. Being truly subversive was more creative.

Friday, 20 November 2015

Highlights Of Berlin

What are the landmarks, where do the tourists flock? Time for a quick and slightly random romp through the historic city.

Boating along the river Spree.

Signs of power. The Brandenburg Gate and Reichstag.

UBahn passing a Moderne building.

Abstract details at the Jewish Museum.

A small section of the now-defunct Tempelhof Airport, site of the Berlin airlift. The terminal still stands in all its grand glory and the grounds are now a big park.

Nice touch, a preserved gas station on the Tempelhof grounds. Berlin Cathedral.

Movie set for Cleopatra? Nope, grounds of several impressive antiquities museums.