URBAN NATION X JIM AVIGNON: New ONE WALL in Tegel brings surreal art to the south of the district

  • by Team Urban Nation

The painter, illustrator, musician and concept artist Jim Avignon has greatly influenced the city of Berlin since the early 1990s. As a street and pop art artist, Avignon not only made a name for himself with numerous exhibitions, live painting and concerts but also with his designs on a piece of Berlin’s East Side Gallery and other walls in public spaces. He has now created the latest URBAN NATION ONE WALL at the Artpark Tegel on the facade of Neheimer Straße 8, which was unveiled yesterday. Every year, the URBAN NATION MUSEUM FOR URBAN CONTEMPORARY ART invites five to six national and international artists to create a mural in the Berlin cityscape as a commentary on current issues.

Der Künstler Jim Avignon bemalt eine Hausfassade.
Jim Avignon in front of his creation at Artpark Tegel.  Photo: Nika Kramer

Avignon’s One Wall reflects the zeitgeist and examines the question of a future somewhere between uncertainty and the elation of the beginning of a new era: it depicts a motley crew of people who share the same fate about to venture into the uncertain. Their mode of transport is a hot-air balloon; the balloon itself is our Earth, which stands symbolically for the fact that we can only move towards the future in harmony with our planet. Various characters are huddled close together in its gondola: a dollar coin (capitalism), a chimney (industry), a smartphone (communication), a house (home) and a mysterious crossword man who is on board as a blank area on which we can project our visions.We are encouraged to imagine for ourselves where this journey into the future will go and how it might end. Not only the current crisis but also the Fridays for Future protests during the past year have made it much clearer to many people that our future on this planet is anything but certain, that we somehow have to change the way we live, and that humanity and society’s big problems can only be solved together. In his latest and so far largest wall mural, Avignon creates a mood that hovers between concern, uncertainty and cautious optimism; his images successfully reflect the current zeitgeist.In characteristic Avignon style, this ONE WALL features a blend of imaginary worlds and social critique. The artists paints his pictures fast and at great speed, which makes it possible for him to address and incorporate the latest everyday issues and to hold up a mirror to us in his works, something which he does quite often.Wandbild von Jim Avignon in Berlin Tegel. Jim Avignon’s One Wall asks which direction Berlin is going in. Photo: Nika Kramer[/caption“We are delighted that, with Jim Avignon, we have managed to commission an artist for the design of a One Wall who has been a major influence on the Berlin art scene for many years and comments on the developments in the city with humour and straight to the point. With his wall mural at the Artpark Tegel, Jim Avignon has once again managed to encourage us to immerse ourselves in surreal worlds and at the same time – on an abstract level – to address questions on the issue of the city’s future. For me, the ‘balloon’ motif is also a very melancholic but equally profound image that ties in with many current issues. In my opinion, it is essentially about the question of the future of the city and its residents and well-known characters.” – Jan Sauerwald, director of the URBAN NATION museum.About Jim AvignonJim Avignon has lived and worked in Berlin since the 1990s. At the beginning of his career, he designed decorations and stage sets for Berlin’s famous raves; he first attracted the attention of the broad public with his live art during the Dokumenta X in Kassel in 1992, where he painted and immediately afterwards destroyed a large-scale painting in front of his audience every day for thirteen days. The artist has also been celebrated internationally ever since, and has not only designed facades in Berlin but also walls in New York, Rome, São Paolo, Athens, Tel Aviv, Lima, Beirut and Bangkok. With his one-man-band “Neoangin”, he also performs regularly in clubs and on various stages.About ONE WALLWith Avignon’s One Wall, the URBAN NATION has created a further work of art in the public space that is intended to be a commentary on developments in the local neighbourhood and hopes to inspire those who see it to think. The One Wall programme is curated by the director of the URBAN NATION museum, Jan Sauerwald.ContactJim Avignon and Jan Sauerwald are available for interviews. If you are interested in interviewing either of them, please contact us at pr@urban-nation.com.For more information, please go to urban-nation.com. Follow URBAN NATION on Instagram and Facebook.