New museum facade by Dave the Chimp & friends
- June 12, 2020
The URBAN NATION museum presents itself with a new, humorous face. The new facade design by Dave the Chimp and four other artists from Berlin not only encourages more solidarity and thus addresses a very current socio-political topic, it is also a fine example of the diversity of Berlin’s street art scene.
Museum director and curator of the new museum facade, Jan Sauerwald, invited the street art artist, skateboarder and illustrator Dave the Chimp, who lives in Berlin for many years, to give the URBAN NATION museum a new face. Dave, known for his orange-coloured characters “Human Beans”, accepted the challenge and brought four other artist friends along. Together with Mina, Señor Schnu, Lunartik aka Matt Jones and Humble Writerz, Dave the Chimp spent almost two weeks designing the 50 x 7 metre facade of the URBAN NATION museum. The design is based on an idea by Dave, who gave the other four artists only a few guidelines and each their creative freedom.
For example, Mina should integrate her strong images of women into the overall picture as a kind of cave painting. Lunartik aka. Matt Jones, who is known for his doodles, was supposed to introduce them as alien hieroglyphics, which decorate the rocks that remind of the Neolithic building Stonehenge. Humble Writerz, on the other hand, gave the rocks a touch of Inca art and Señor Schnu brought in his typical poster motifs with a wink. These many individual elements now form an exciting hidden object picture on which you can see a lot. But one aspect runs like a red thread through the colourful hustle and bustle: solidarity.
The motif of the rocks and stones stands for a system that is only stable and solid if stability is provided jointly. Only together, when everyone pulls on the same rope, the system or even the structures in which we live will keep its stability and not collapse. This applies to political, economic and social aspects. The Corona crisis teaches us how fragile we are as individuals, but also in politics and the economy, and that problems cannot be solved alone, but that we can only succeed together. The “Human Beans” by Dave the Chimp show this connection very well in the new facade design. With humour and charm, the little orange beans interact in the overall picture to prevent accidents. The “Human Beans” (a wordplay of the English term “human beings”) help each other, give each other support, motivate one another and are there for each other.
But there are also many other themes to discover on the new facade. For example, there are crazy buildings and bad planning, the Greek figure of Sisyphus is quoted, and next to the figure of a Bartleby of the writer Herman Melville sitting on the floor (“I would prefer not to”), one could suspect a Stargate from the TV series of the same name. These diverse links and references to literature, popular culture and the developmental history of mankind make the facade design an enigmatic work of art and an enrichment for the neighbourhood.
Dave the Chimp admits that the facade design was a real challenge. It was a big project, which he would not have mastered so smoothly without the support of the other artists. He and the others are now happy when the viewers take the time to discover all the stories and little anecdotes of the overall picture. It has become a motif that cannot be depicted on a single photograph. Like a comic, the stories depicted build on each other and should be seen as such. Already during the production of this painting it became clear that the artwork will be admired exactly as the artists intended. Neighbours of the museum took the time and smiled about the funny beans, whilst a father explained something about Inca culture and cave painting to his son by means of the work of art.
Come and see this new work of art. Take your time and enjoy the exciting stories that the new facade design tells.
Photos: Nika Kramer