“Everything that I could write about is already written. And all the knowledge that I have is from what I read. In two days, what new would I discover which others have not possibly written about?”
“Travel for yourself Anirban; not for blogging. Stop, breathe, look around and feel this city. There’s so much to it in every nook and corner. Hey, wait! You see this banana graffiti on the wall? Look at it nicely, I will tell you about it during lunch.”
“Didi, there’s graffiti on this entire wall!! ..and that’s damn nice.”
“Not just that, you’d see sticker art, wool art, little artwork made out of anything, everything.. stories being told, awareness been raised…..”
“This be it then.”
I made a quick two-days trip to Cologne, because Svetlana invited me to her home. This city is fondly called the cultural capital of Germany; a seat of Greek culture during ancient times – this city is also famous for the biggest Cathedral in Germany and the love bridge right in front of it.
But in this blog post, I would write mainly about the kind of art you would find in Cologne; art which is not restricted to the museum near the Cologne Cathedral but very visible on the walls of the buildings, the street corners, the alleys, lamp posts, tram stops, pavements, electricity distribution boards, fences and possibly everywhere in public spaces.
It reminded me of Calcutta and this is no surprise, because I explored the wall arts in the city I’ve grown up in. I also realise, I would be in a position to write about the street / wall art in details once I have explored the art in many cities. I’m personally looking forward to that.
In this blog post, I wanted to showcase more than 80 photographs of the street / wall arts [graffiti, murals, stickers etc] and the way I chose to present is by making a collage of it. I hope you like it. While I show you the photographs below, I’ll add a few of my personal comments and experiences in between.
If you see, there is a variety of things portrayed on the walls of Cologne. It really motivated me to walk more and go to the next street or the next turn, despite the heat. Sigh. There was cartoons of Donald Trump, Ja! Da!, the sheep, the Cow, Mickey mouse and his muse, from pac man to the local superman; possibly everything that could have been thought of, is portrayed.
I asked Tarek (Svetlana’s husband) why would anyone invest so much time into this, if they are not paid. He told me that it’s a passion. Even as a kid, he had, with this friends, stolen colouring cans from shops in the night, take stencils out and paint the city walls when the sun was down. I laughed at it!
Do let me know which of these you’ve liked the most! Drop me a message here. There are two more sets like this but this time, I’ve spaced it up a little bit for you. I was just too lazy re-working on the first collage. Sorry. #lol.
While in all our excitement we forgot to discuss what the banana is about, we made sure we explore as much as we can.
A few of the most fascinating murals that has kept me fascinated are the following:
The big eagle with webcam eyes, keeping a watch over a herd of white sheep, where the black one’s aren’t allowed. They were pulled out and possibly killed.
The black and white checkered 3D art on one of the walls. Akash (the two-year toddler) found that fascinating! Haha.
The two large pieces of artwork below, because of the sheer size and magnificence.
The next Wall Art is special. While the large eagle with webcam eyes not allowing black sheep in the herd struck some really unknown painful chords inside my head and heart, the next one amused and brought a smile back on my face.
Below this was a checkered arrangement, which amused Akash. I’d probably introduce Akash in my next blog post.
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We explored the beer gardens, the parks, the Cathedral (obviously) and the museum attached with that. The two days in Cologne has been fascinating and got me engaged at a very personal level. Cologne has a lot of people, which is diverse, very helpful and they speak English. There’s street art, people are out of the streets; you could easily find people jamming together publicly, creating music. It had an uncanny resemblance to Calcutta. Also, while spending time with Svetlana’s two-year old son, I kept missing the time I spent with my niece, who is now five. Time flies and life is exactly the way it is.
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