All posts tagged: Berlin Wall

Berlin Wall Milestone : Down as Long as It Was Up

Berlin Wall Milestone : Down as Long as It Was Up

The Berlin Wall has now been down as long as it was up. 28 years, two months and 27 days passed in both cases, and we are still looking for sane global policy about the freewill of people to prevail.

Ronald Reagan, a Republican president lauded by the right, once intoned while standing in front of the wall,

“We welcome change and openness; for we believe that freedom and security go together, that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace. There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace…Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

Dimitry Vrubel mural “My God, Help Me to Survive This Deadly Love” first painted in 1990 and restored in 2009 is based on the iconic photograph by Régis Bossu of the Fraternal Kiss in 1979 between Soviet Leader Leonid Brezhnev and East German Leader Erich Honecker on the occasion of Brezhnev’s visit to East Germany. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Also interestingly in that same speech Reagan referred to the graffiti on it;

“As I looked out a moment ago from the Reichstag, that embodiment of German unity, I noticed words crudely spray-painted upon the wall, perhaps by a young Berliner, ‘This wall will fall. Beliefs become reality.’ Yes, across Europe, this wall will fall. For it cannot withstand faith; it cannot withstand truth. The wall cannot withstand freedom.”

Chiseling the Berlin Wall (photo ©Owen Franken)

Mr. Reagan saw the hypocrisy of building walls, separating people, restricting freedom. Yet we today have another president so far to the right of Reagan that he has even threatened to shut down the government in order to secure funding to build a wall along the border with Mexico.

Fiodi Frede “Sons of Bitches. Stop Lying. We Learned Nothing.” (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Which brings us to a more recent sentiment on part of the remaining wall, written in Spanish;

“Hijos de puta dejen de mentir no aprendimos nada”, or “Sons of bitches stop lying we did not learn anything.”  No kidding.

As we mark this mathematical marker, we present a few images of that wall that once stood unbroken for 10,316 days

Gabriel Heimler (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Icy & Sot (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Andrej Scharow (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Michail Serebrjakow (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Jim Avignon (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Rhino (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Photo © Jaime Rojo

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“Stars and Bricks” Go Up on a Berlin Wall from Various & Gould

“Stars and Bricks” Go Up on a Berlin Wall from Various & Gould

“Men build too many walls and not enough bridges.”

― Joseph Fort Newton, Southern Baptist minister from Texas (1876–1950)


And yet, talk again turns to the building of a contiguous wall along the southern border of the US.

Even though the wall is part of an Executive Order from President Trump, some say that in reality it is unlikely to happen because we still have in effect those complicating features of democracy where citizens actually disagree with one another and we are forced to reach a consensus. Not to mention the damage to relations with our 3nd largest trading partner with which goods and services traded totaled an estimated $583.6 billion in 2015.

Various & Gould Stars and Bricks Berlin, January 2017. (photo @ Various & Gould)

It’s complete irony that the current Republican president is demanding a wall to be built when the nearly sainted architect of trickle-down small-government hands-off-the-corporations revolution, Ronald Reagan, is famous for having said to the then Russian president “Mr. Gorbachev: Tear down this wall” nearly 30 years. Likely Gorbachev has different opinions about the current president.

Berliners will tell you that their wall was incredibly damaging to the economies and more importantly, the people and the cultures who lived on both sides of it from 1961 to 1989. In fact the mayor of Berlin, Michael Müller said in a statement Friday, according to a translation by the Washington Post.

“We cannot simply accept that all our historic experiences are being thrown into disarray by the ones we have to thank most for our freedom: the Americans. I call on the U.S. President to not go down this wrong track of isolation and exclusion.”

Various & Gould Stars and Bricks Berlin, January 2017. (photo @ Various & Gould)

Which leads us to this new piece from Berlin based Street Artist duo Various & Gould, who have just wheatpasted a re-designed American flag with the red strips as bricks, partially eating into the stars.

“We made it straight from the guts after reading about Trump’s press conference on Jan. 11th. Among other things he was talking again about building the wall,” V&G tells BSA of the genesis for the new piece made in their studio and taken to the street.

“At first our design was just meant as sort of a visual web comment, but in the days following we decided to make a big poster of it and bring it to the streets,” they say.

Various & Gould Stars and Bricks Berlin, January 2017. (photo @ Various & Gould)

Anytime a nations flag is redesigned or reconfigured some may infer it is a sign of disrespect, but V&G say they are just extremely worried. “Needless to say – it’s not in any way anti-American. In the contrary we fear for the America we know and think of our friends in the US! Trump’s Twitter politics will have an impact on the whole world.”

The Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu disagrees entirely and used Twitter to say so. “President Trump is right. I built a wall along Israel’s southern border. It stopped all illegal immigration. Great success. Great idea,” he tweeted. Freelance writer, author, film maker William Parry says in his opinion piece in Al Jazeera “Israel’s separation wall as an example of a valid security measure is based on gross ignorance, at best.”

So there will likely be ongoing disagreement. Certainly the world is watching and reacting.

Various & Gould Stars and Bricks Berlin, January 2017. (photo @ Various & Gould)

Various & Gould Stars and Bricks Berlin, January 2017. (photo @ Various & Gould)

Various & Gould Stars and Bricks Berlin, January 2017. (photo @ Various & Gould)

Various & Gould Stars and Bricks Berlin, January 2017. (photo @ Various & Gould)

V&G have created a downloadable version for you of their new design below. Just click on #StarsAndBricks.


This article was also published on The Huffington Post.

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“We are the people!”, Xenophobia, and Penises for Rallitox in Berlin (NSFW)

“We are the people!”, Xenophobia, and Penises for Rallitox in Berlin (NSFW)

“Wir sind das Volk!” and Dildos from the “Confusionist”

Continuing his human sticker campaign, street artist Rallitox has gathered a nice crowd in front of this portion of the Berlin Wall, otherwise known popularly as the East Side Gallery, many of whom are happily snapping photos as he sticks a couple of friends to it. The installation is a bag of mixed messages, perhaps the biggest is “look at me”, but we’ll help you unpack a couple of others here while we all stare at the spectacle of duct tape and dildos.

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RallitoX. East Side Gallery AKA Berlin Wall. Berlin. May 2015. (photo © courtesy of RallitoX)

Wir sind das Volk! (We are the people!) is a phrase associated with a populist movement of reunification that erupted during the fall of the Berlin Wall that separated West from East twenty five years ago, but strangely, according to Rallitox, has been recently commandeered by xenophobes who want to get rid of certain immigrants. “Now the movement called Pegida, who are against the “Islamification” of Germany, are using this slogan for their own profit,” he says, and he is unhappy with this perversion of the original meaning in a campaign that is swaying opinions.

 

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RallitoX. East Side Gallery AKA Berlin Wall. Berlin. May 2015. (photo © courtesy of RallitoX)

“Since I was a child I was fascinated with how advertising was conditioning our behaviors, the way we act and how are we supposed to be. I guess that at the end, everything is created in our brains. If you can control people’s minds you can dominate them. If you want to manipulate people you have to control in the best way the languages and symbols that affect us as humans,” he explains.

He admits that this new message of his may not be entirely clear. “This is my psycho-confused response to all those who are trying to claim that there are people who deserve to be ‘the people’ and others who are not good enough to be part of it, depending on what they believe.” That seems pretty clear from here – Rallitox wants to seize the slogan and reclaim it in some way.

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RallitoX. East Side Gallery AKA Berlin Wall. Berlin. May 2015. (photo © courtesy of RallitoX)

Now, about the fleshy pink appendages pointed rather parallel to the pavement and attached to this installation: that meaning is slightly less obvious, even while being completely obvious.

“For me the penis is an icon that reflect perfectly the human state of mind,” he explains. “The hypocrisy toward part of the human body that is considered ugly and tasteless even when more or less half of humanity have one between their legs is interesting. On the other hand, drawing and working with penises gives me a lot of trouble in terms of selling my art and it closes doors in some mainstream street art circles where this ¨bad taste¨ is normally not so well received, with the exception of some more open minded blogs or magazines.”

Dang! That compliment was obvious too. Sure glad we are open minded, and since you, dear reader, are reading this, you clearly must be as well

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RallitoX. East Side Gallery AKA Berlin Wall. Berlin. May 2015. (photo © courtesy of RallitoX)

Yes under a patriarchal construct you may associate these duct-taped dildos as symbols of power and dominion, or as possible weapons and open provocation, or the implication of a virile conceptual idea. Or we may see these as a criticism of boner headed thinking. Mainly we just keep in mind that dick jokes are often funny and when placed on the street at roughly eye-level, present a great number of entertaining photo opportunities.

“Some viewers don’t understand what the relationship between penises and politics is,” Rallitox says as he sounds like he is about to explain. “I aim to be a confusionist and to use Street Art to spread confusion, awareness, and chaos in some organized way.”

You may agree that the confusion aspect of the work is quite successful here.

 

 

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BSA Images Of The Week: 03.29.15

BSA Images Of The Week: 03.29.15

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BSA-Images-Week-Jan2015

BSA again proudly shouts out Young New Yorkers this week as they offer you works by many Street Artists on the scene today at auction. Check out the auction on April 1st of some of New Yorks’ finest (and generous) Street Artists whose work will benefit the programs of “restorative justice” which YNY offers to 16 and 17 year olds in NYC who have become entangled with the law. (Video at bottom)

Also our hearts go to the neighbors who lost homes and were hurt (some very badly) in the explosion and fire that destroyed two buildings on the Lower East Side this week. Meme-making selfies by callous bimbos aside, stories of strangers and neighbors reaching out to help out remind us why we love NYC.

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring B.D.White, City Kitty, Claw Money, Enzo Sarto, Hot Tea, Jeff Soto, Philippe Vignal, Rhino, Sbagliato, Sobr, Stikman, Tona, Urban Solid, and VK .

Top Image >>Urban Solid on Berlin’s East Side Gallery AKA Berlin Wall. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Stikman (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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City Kitty bidding farewell to his prominent spot on the soon to be renovated Maisel building on the Bowery. Photographer Jay Maisel paid 102K in 1966 for the former Germania Bank building built in 1898. He sold it last year to developer Aby Rosen for 55 million. True story. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Rhino Berlin on Berlin’s East Side Gallery AKA Berlin Wall. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Enzo Sarto (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Enzo Sarto (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Sobr in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Sbagliato in London. In case you were wondering the art is the passageway on the left. That’s not real. It is an optical illusion created with a photograph wheat-pasted on the wall. (photo © Blind Eye Factory)

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These bars in Berlin provide a number of great image making opportunities – like this pooch from Tona. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Claw Money (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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VK in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Philippe Vignal in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Hot Tea gets fancy. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jeff Soto in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Which is more flammable, the EU crisis or this polyester dress? Various Artists on a “magnet wall” in Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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B.D. White (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. Let the right one in. Berlin. March 2015. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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