Bleak to Chic: The East Side Gallery Berlin
June 9, 2010 MuseumChick
Berlin has turned the most drab slab of concrete into a street-art connoisseur's haven.
One thing I love about the East Side Gallery, besides that is an interesting burst of personality and color on a side of Berlin that would have remained grey if not for the reunification of Germany, is that it is "open" 24 hours a day. Being an open air gallery means after you have had a few of Germany's world renowned beers you can come down to the East Side Gallery and over analyze the abstract and political street art. That's not what I did…I'm just giving you suggestions to a interesting night out in Berlin.
A little snippet of history about the Berlin Wall and its becoming the East Side Gallery, as per the exhibition wall plaque…
"Between Schillingbrücke bridge and Osthafen, the political boundary to West Berlin ran south-westwards along the bank of the River Spree on the Kreuzberg side. The entire water surface belonged to East Berlin. The East German leadership had the barrier constructed above ground along Muhlenstraße. Here, you can see a part of the interior wall- now known as the East Side Gallery. In 1990, 118 artists from 21 countries painted the Wall here. This act, which would have only been allowed in West Berlin until then, gave expression to the joy widely felt at the falling of the Berlin Wall. The open-air gallery, which is 1.3 km long, is the longest stretch of the rear barrier to be placed under a preservation order in Berlin. A gap has been made in the Wall, giving inhabitants of the new district near Ostbahnhof train station access to the River Spree".
Strolling the wall, this is what I saw…
I need a break from walking this wall. Luckily there is the peaceful River Spree directly behind it to relax.
Back to more wall…
I was not born yet to witness the notorious kiss between East German leader, Erich Honecker and the Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev during the 30th Anniversary of the German Democratic Republic in 1979, apparently to show how unified they were. It was recently the subject of controversy when it was erased in 2009 and re-painted by artist, Dmitri Vrubel. Now it is the most popular painting on the wall.
This part gives visitors a chance to leave their mark or artistic ambitions on the wall. Too bad I forgot a pen.
©2010 Danee Gilmartin All rights reserved