August 17, 2022

My God, a Symbol of Separation


My God, a Symbol of Separation
"Fraternal Kiss" by Dmitry Vrubel German Bundesarchiv

“There was a certain girl here who was handing out some permission to paint to artists, complete nonsense. I gave her this work, and the first thing she said was that it was a very dangerous job, because if Gorbachev saw it, he would not allow the unification of Germany and that she will send it to the senate of West Berlin, which was a different country, for approval.” 

                                   –  Dmitry Vrubel, the artist behind the Berlin Wall's "The Fraternal Kiss"

At the age of 62, Dmitry Vrubel, the Russian artist behind one of the Berlin wall's most famous work of graffiti, passed away due to complications caused by coronavirus.

"The Fraternal Kiss," or "My God, Help Me to Survive This Deadly Love," is a representation of two socialist leaders entangling themselves deeper into their woes. It depicts Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev kissing the East German leader Eric Honecker and is based on a photograph taken of the leaders in 1979. 

Vrubel used the image as a symbol: "In this painting, there’s one German and one Russian, and the Berlin Wall is about the same thing but in reverse: here [in the painting], there’s total love, while the Berlin Wall separates two worlds — it was a perfect fit."

Painted in 1990, the fresco remained on the wall, gradually being covered by graffiti over the years until, in 2009, it was erased so that the wall could be restored. Vrubel later repainted the image. 

 

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