'Good can come from bad can come from good can come from bad can come from good' ... and on and on and on...

Part of the Wende Museum's Surveillance Project, Behind the Wall brings together street artists from Los Angeles, London, and Berlin to interpret the role of surveillance in our lives from the Cold War until today.  These nine painted segments of concrete on Wilshire Blvd. are actually part of the 'east side' of the original Berlin Wall - the side that face the East German death strip and was never painted.

We just sort of stumbled onto this mural the other day night, walking by going to the gym and seeing people pack up paints and cans.  I turned to take a second look and was excited to see that it was actually the German artists Herakut who were finishing work, and after working up a bit of courage myself (and with a little nudge from Kirby) went up to speak with the two.  My nervousness was completely unfounded of course, and Hera and Akut were more than happy to speak with us about the project and about art in general until well after dark, explaining how they chose to depict two pregnant women surrounded by the words 'good can come from bad can come from good' repeated across the piece, as a sort of reminder of the ambiguity of judgement.  From new life comes the possibility of great good or great evil (or something in-between, or perhaps nothing at all), but from whatever direction a life takes, the opposite can be a result. Ostensibly erected to 'protect' the population of East Germany from Fascist elements, the Berlin Wall, of course, came to be seen for exactly what it was, a wall, a construction to keep one group out, one group in.  However such boundaries, be they literal or figurative, have always served to bring like minded people together (again, both for good and ill), and have ever proved to be fertile ground for creative expressions.  There is nothing that is black and white, art can come from intolerance and oppression, beauty can grow from filth - and the some of the worst atrocities of our world have been committed with nothing but the best of intentions... 

good can come from bad can come from good can come from bad can come from good can come from bad...

Herakut are artist's I've admired for years now and it was an absolute pleasure to be able to meet them face to face.  Any art that forces one to question ones preconceived notions regarding a definition (what does 'street art' mean, from what parameters must it break free before it is allowed to be considered 'fine art' - another ambiguous definition) will always be absolutely inspirational to me.
For more of their work check out www.herakut.de and if you're in LA go down to 5900 Wilshire Blvd. to check the wall out for yourself, other artists who have contributed include Retna and D*Face.


Here we go...

Always one to stay at the forefront of the newest technological trends, I've finally caught up with the rest of the world and started a blog.
Just going to be a sounding board really, a running commentary on art and life (sometimes my own, sometimes not), I hope I can present myself honestly, even if some cracks still show.


- Jonathan


A theory regarding the history of the word 'Sincere' derives the modern from the Latin 'Sine' ('Without')and 'Cera' ('Wax'), and is attributed to ancient Rome, where sculptors would hide imperfections in their marble with wax later covered with chalk. A 'sine cera' sculpture, or one without wax, was one presumably without flaws, presented honestly, hiding nothing.

Though largely disregarded as 'folk etymology', it is a romantic notion of the history of the word and the sentiment of a truly honest presentation of art.