Notes and Notices

On art, architecture and design


Berlin in Los Angeles

Posted by Carren Jao Pineda |

I just found out, and forgive me for my tardiness, the world's longest segment of the Berlin Wall is right here in Los Angeles. It's also been staring me in the face for quite some time now. I've passed by this concrete wall so many times and wondered, "What's that eye sore doing here?" Only to find out two weekends ago that it was a piece of history.

The wall is a project of the Wende Museum, a small archival museum that specializes in Cold War artifacts. It was first brought to Los Angeles in 2009 on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Despite its 12-foot height, it felt diminished in front of the gargantuan Variety building.

The front of the wall bore artworks from different street artists painted during the 2009 ceremony, but I would say that it's even more precious find is behind the wall. On the East Berlin side of the wall, where it had never felt the touch of paint. Street artists including our very own Retna, created aggressive, bold works of art, to be revealed only to the people who took the time to look behind.

Mural by German duo Herakut shows two pregnant women in a background scrawled with the words "Good can come from bad can come from good." 

Retna's trademark hieroglyphic style.

D*Face captures the intrusion of capitalism in East Berlin. Is he for or against the toppling of the wall, I wonder.

If you're on a lunch break on Wilshire, check it out. Grab some food from the food trucks lined up along the street, pick your spot and contemplate what the world would have looked like with this wall lining an infinite stretch of your country.

Despite the wall's historical baggage, its meaning is now remade in the minds of teens who had never grown up in the time of the Cold War.

5900 Wilshire Boulevard, 
Los Angeles, CA


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