L.A. Commemorates Fall of the Berlin Wall

Graphic designers and graffiti artists come together for a collaborative art installation in Los Angeles

By: By Shirley Mak

Los Angeles Commemorates Fall of the Berlin Wall // (c) Wende Museum

The Wall Project

For those unable to venture to Berlin to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the City of Los Angeles has something in store. Working with the Wende Museum and Archive of the Cold War, Los Angeles will present The Wall Project, a special art installation symbolizing the Berlin Wall after the fall. For this exhibition running in October and November, select artists from Los Angeles and Berlin will lend their talents and decorate a recreated Berlin Wall along Wilshire Blvd.

On Oct. 17, several wall segments will be installed to form an outdoor gallery exhibition in front of 5900 Wilshire Boulevard. Then, on Sunday, Nov. 8 at 3 p.m. — which is Nov. 9 in Berlin, the day the wall came down — the real celebration begins: The remaining 30 decorated wall segments will be stretched across Wilshire Blvd. to symbolically recreate the wall that once separated East and West Berlin. This will be followed by a public ceremony consisting of speeches, a live-feed between Los Angeles and Berlin, a video-montage presentation and live music.

“On November 8th, we celebrate the creative spirit of Los Angeles and Berlin in overcoming [barriers]. At the end of the event, our wall comes down, life goes on, and the traffic moves once again, as it does today in a reunified Germany,” said Justinian Jampol, executive director and founder of The Wende Museum.

Participating artists include the French-born, Berlin-based artist Thierry Noir, one of the first artists to paint on the Berlin Wall in 1984; Kent Twitchell, a renowned L.A.-based muralist; graphic designer and political illustrator Shepard Fairey, creator of the iconic “Hope” poster for President Obama’s 2009 candidacy; and graffiti artists working with ArtStorm. Faculty and graduate students from the art programs at OTIS, USC, CalArts and UCLA and other grass-roots organizations have also been invited to participate.