Last night the giant street art mural near Schlesisches Tor got painted over in pitch black. There are various speculations behind who did it and for which reasons. What I found most plausible was a statement found in a Polysingularity article, claiming that it was the italian artist Blu who commissioned the cancelation of his own artwork.
“(…)the artists decided to paint them all black, so that nobody can take advantage of the original work… A “fuck you” gesture towards the city, towards the real estate company, but most of all – to all the people who love this artwork and everything that it’s come to represent. The argument of the people who are doing that is that Berlin is not the same anymore, that the real estate company will just use the artwork to sell apartments more expensive, that a new statement needs to be made at this new moment of time… In a way, they are doing exactly what the artwork says: “reclaim your city”.”
The rest of the article goes on about how pessimistic the destruction of the artwork is. That it is not the right message the city needs right now in this turbulent time of turbo-capitalism & neoliberalism, remodelling Berlin into a Lego-Gotham. Even if I can relate to the arguments, in regards to the artwork, I don’t agree 100%. I share my thoughts on the repainting, along with some videos showing the artist at work, after the jump.
UPDATE (March 12, 2016): BLU has done it again. In a protest against the city’s plans to “secure” street art to be displayed in a museum he painted over numerous of his works from the past 20 or more years in Bologna, Italy. Read more about this here.