berlin drawings 20-22 > animal symbolism

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Berlin Embrace
Berlin Embrace
ink on paper
75cm horizontal by 40cm vertical

This drawing riffs off the 1979 Régis Bossu photograph capturing Leonid Brezhnev and Erich Honecker locked in a socialist fraternal kiss, which took place during the 30th anniversary celebration of the GDR’s founding. The photograph was made even more famous by the 1990 Dmitri Vrubel mural painted on the longest preserved stretch of Berlin wall, the East Side Gallery located in Friedrichshain. The idea of two Berlin Bears kissing came to me after seeing the Berlin-Mitte district’s coat of arms, which features two bears facing each other, mouths wide open and tongues outstretched, flanking a shield displaying the Deutsche Adler. The two bears merge, simultaneously resembling a single foreword facing beast.