Objekt 4000 Bunker
Brandenburg, Germany - December 2022
During my time in Berlin, a friend of mine from California connected me to a few individuals who were working on turning an old bunker (previously used as a nuclear warhead depot by Soviet Russia during the Cold War) into an art & music space. Soon after getting connected, I got to work painting a mural in their underground space. Two main ideas/trains of thought I settled on are:
Being quite literally underground & imagining what would be in the dirt around us
The transformational energy of taking spaces of war and making them spaces of unity
Beneath the surface
The mural appears as a cross section of the dirt behind the wall of the bunker. To emphasize this, there is a tree line at the top of the mural, showing that we are indeed viewing an underground scene. Beneath the surfaces, between hypercolored patches of dirt & stones, are nuclear missiles, love letters, children’s drawings, jewelry, and an army hat. Joining along for the ride are characters from the LvL Up! realm that I often employ to emphasize a theme of progression. Included in these characters are imps (devil-like fish), the LvL Up Worm (a cheeky reminder of moving forward), and Enantio (a character meant to mirror humans and emphasize balance). Enantio is seen in a cocoon in the center of the piece, as a beacon calling for cleansing and growth. Sopping in a toxic, neon green, he is reflecting the cleansing of spirit, physical pain, emotional turbulence.
This mural is an acknowledgement of where we have come from and where we are going. Although unlearned lessons may keep us from fully melting into presence, we are resilient, and we are here.
Transformation (cleansing of the spirit / earth)
Berlin is a story of success against all odds. It has been destroyed, rebuilt, reconfigured, and revitalized more than it would like to admit. It’s within this resilient elasticity of the capital of Germany that I found major inspiration. Quite literally, Berlin has transformed multi-floored power plants to clubs, bunkers to art galleries, war to peace, disruption to unity, and toxicity to new growth.