It has been 26 years since the wall came down and the two separate sides of Germanys were fused back together. With the tagline ‘We are Creative in Puglia,’ the region of Puglia wanted to offer something in celebration of this reunification: a way to embody two elements, previously separate entities, bound together in spirit and intent. The work was commissioned to the famous street artist Agostino Iacurci, who is known for his bold and fauvist color schemes. His work lends to variegated perspectives in his bold representations of this intricate existence.
Located in the bustling Moritzplatz in the heart of Kreuzberg, this mural is on display near the old checkpoint at Heinrich-Heine-Straße: a place previously burdened with separation. Coming at an interesting time when integration and assimilation are words on the tongues of every Berliner, Agostino’s work, though specifically echoing a sentiment of the past, is still relevant to what’s going on today. Agostino’s idiosyncratic work balances the picturesque nature of his homeland with an urban flair. Both playful and poignant, the mural represents contrast, a way of integrating what might appear to be contradictory. Finding peace in the space where things come together is perhaps why Agostino was chosen to complete such a visual feat.
The piece was commissioned thanks to a government subsidy from Puglia. It is a fun and unique way not only to bridge the gap between two countries, but to also do so between the public art sphere and its contemporary independent counterpart. It also acts as a nice informal invitation to southern Italy, a contrast to traditional, gimmicky calls of tourism. As Berlin has become a haven for street artists and lovers of all things cultural, it would only seem natural for the creative region of Puglia to ignite a deeper kinship. With Germany currently grappling with a difficult sociopolitical climate, messages of unity are warm reminders of how beauty is often a result of integration. After the Blu controversy, where an Italian artist blacked out his famous and beloved piece in Kreuzberg, this move by Puglia is a welcomed change of pace.