Coronavirus-Inspired Murals Are Appearing on the Berlin Wall
It's all courtesy of guerrilla street artists.
The Berlin Wall is covered with graffiti, murals, and tributes to everything that the slab of concrete has seen since the fall of the German Democratic Republic in 1989. Before the city of Berlin instituted a lockdown through April 20 to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, street artist B.S. and Dominican artist Eme Freethinker took to the wall to add a few timely additions of their own.
Freethinker opted to reflect the somewhat unfortunate hoarding mentality that was being seen around the world with a piece showing Gollum from Lord of the Rings with toilet paper. Another showed British actress Michaela Coel with a not-so-subtle suggestion for everyone: stay home.
“The first time that I came to Berlin, I went to Mauerpark and I spent the whole day just painting there,” Freethinker told Condé Nast Traveler. “It represented so much for me to paint in such a historic space.”
B.S. opted for a little more optimism in his piece, blending swirls of purple and yellow as well as a pair of hands definitely not touching, perhaps in homage to Michelangelo's "The Creation of Adam" called "My Corona."
"There are some people out there that make art because they want to open people's eyes or make a difference in the world," B.S. said. "I make art because I need to. It's cathartic. It’s my form of expression and if I don’t do it, it messes with my head."
When self-quarantine lifts, fans shouldn't rush to check it out at the Hinterlandmauer segment of the wall, which runs through Mauerpark. A week later, the mural vanished, since that section of the wall of constantly evolving, a living canvas that's open to street artists to use however they please. (Thankfully, B.S. posted the work to Instagram.) Some pieces get added to, some get covered up, and others remain. While it's too late to see My Corona, there's no doubt that more pieces will pop up as soon as Berlin's self-quarantine directives lift.
“Mauerpark is a total free-for-all, but that’s part of why I like to paint here,” B.S. said. "I like the thought of [the wall] just being left to slowly deteriorate."