Berlin Wall Art
For 28 years, the stark cement blocks of the notorious Berlin Wall reminded Germans and travelers to Germany that they were on the front lines of the Cold War. As the western city rebuilt into its cement cage, a traumatized population began to express their anger in paint.
What started out as graffiti on an architectural scar grew into extended visual commentaries on a divided nation caught up in the ultimate ideological battle. And then, the battle ended. As Germans rushed to tear down their symbol of division, some realized a work of art was being destroyed as well – and that at least part of it was worth saving.
Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, little remains of the original 155 km. The longest surviving stretch is The East Side Gallery, a portion of the wall running along the Spree River which has been covered with ever-shifting, ever evolving murals. Since 2003, we have been photographing that stretch, documenting our favorite works. Many of the murals shown in the gallery below have now vanished or have been altered. For us, these are street art treasures closely tied to our many years in Berlin.