For years, the Berlin Wall represented a divided world. Now two leading street artists have united to create an artwork to mark the 30th anniversary of its fall.
Thierry Noir and STIK have been commissioned by the Imperial War Museum in London to paint two original segments of the ugly concrete structure, which came down on 9 November 1989 and became one of the most iconic and defining moments of the 20th century.
The pieces were explicitly brought to the capital earlier this month. Entitled WALL, the artworks will be on display outside the museum until 1 December.
Of course, street art began appearing on the Berlin Wall in the early 1980s as a form of artistic resistance and political commentary. French artist Thierry Noir was a trailblazer of this movement, and the first to paint long stretches of the Berlin Wall.
Meanwhile, STIK continues the tradition of street art as a tool of social change. His trademark stick figures voice the struggles facing communities around the world.
Noir says: “My generation has a duty to explain what life was like with the Berlin Wall in a way that young people will not repeat the mistakes of the past. I first met STIK in Berlin in 2012, and we became friends. For the thirtieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, our new joint work on two original Berlin Wall sections is a message to these future generations.”
The fall of the Berlin Wall on 9 November 1989 signalled the end of the Cold War. It triggered the reunification of Germany and the subsequent dissolution of the USSR. Europe reshaped, and both its physical borders, and its political and social identity continue to evolve today.
But thirty years on, walls and physical barriers between people have multiplied, as the world faces a new set of twenty-first-century tensions. It’s hoped Thierry Noir and STIK’s WALL artwork will remind people of what’s important. Find out more at www.iwm.org.uk.