There is a Paris that I never saw, but one which is celebrated in books and paintings, movies and memories. This is the Paris where artists from around the world gathered and talked to each other, while creating new works. There were hundreds of artists, of whom we now remember few.
Berlin today seems to be a vital place like that. The fall of the wall has given a space, probably temporary, for artists to flourish. We walked through a crowded galleries full of fashion photography cheek by jowl with exciting experiments. Artists from all across the world seem to gather in Berlin today. We came across bookstores which carry eclectic collections of books on art: from slim self-published volumes to glossy magazines.
And every now and then, outside these art-spaces, we would come across people painting on door and walls. There was graffiti in German, English, Turkish and Arabic. We found young (and not-so-young) artists painting large and ephemeral works on walls, others doing signboards and doors. The atmosphere reminded me of artists’ collectives in Shanghai a few years ago.
Berlin is edgy and exciting today. A great place to retire to.