The Wall Project
Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall! And bring it to LA! Across the street from LACMA’s main entrance stands a work of art made from 10 segments of the Berlin wall, making this 40-foot structure the longest piece of the historic wall outside of Berlin. It is covered with images of JFK, Reagan, Nelson Mandela, and peppered with street art style cartoons from both prominent and emerging artists. The Wall Project went up in 2009 to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the destruction of the Berlin Wall, and this year we celebrate the 25th. The wall was put up by the Wende Museum with the intent of inspiring political and personal expression through art, the way the original Berlin Wall did years ago. One segment arrived from Berlin already painted with the famous bears of German artist Bimer, and the other segments were painted in public view by renowned and underground artists alike. Artists include Thierry Noir, one of the first artists to paint on the original wall in the 80’s, L.A. muralist Kent Twitchell, and emerging artists Farrah Karapetian and Marie Astrid González. The wall, which is situated on one of Los Angeles’s main east-west streets, brings curious tourists and locals together to view a piece of history updated with artwork very apropos of Los Angeles’ street art scene. You can watch a 10 minute documentary on The Wall Project here.
Next to the wall is a painted, metal booth filled with keys. 5900 Wilshire is the temporary home for this old, ADN guard booth from Germany, salvaged and revamped by artist Christof Zwiener. The booth was the last remaining East German guard booth in public display, once in front of a German ad agency to spy on reporters. The interior artwork is also constantly changing. Currently it displays a cascading tree of keys. Key Delivery is a sculpture by Berliner Sonya Schoenberger, which features around 2,000 keys from abandoned East German police barracks. It represents the loss of power and control of the East German state security after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The German guard booth will continue to rotate politically-aware art until the booth makes its way to its permanent home at The Wende Museum in Culver City.