"The initial spark for techno in Berlin was the fall of the Wall".

Interview 2021

Jim Avignon, born in 1968, is one of Germany’s best-known Pop Art artists. He moved to West Berlin in 1988. His 1990 Wall painting “Doin it cool for the East Side” depicts events shortly after the fall of the Wall. Rather than restore it, he and a class of art school students painted a new version in 2013.

Jim Avignon in the interview

2013's version of "Doin it cool for the East Side"

Who is Jim Avignon?

"Money Machine" – criticising the Gallery's commercial exploitation

Repainting in 2013

Impressions of West Berlin and the Wall

Where were you when the Wall came down?

1990: East and West coming together

1990s techno and club scene

Fall of the Wall and techno

How did you get involved in the East Side Gallery?

Reactions to the new painting of 2013

Creative Berlin from 1989 to the present

East Side Gallery: first ignored then restored

Art in the streets and street art for advertising

Street art project turned down

"The East Side Gallery is…"

Avignon painted his picture “Doin it cool for the East Side” in 1990 as a foil to the pictures celebrating the fall of the Wall. The original painting showed almost 20 events that took place in early 1990.

Jim Avignon painting at the East Side Gallery, 1990
Jim Avignon

Jim Avignon, Doin it cool for the East Side, 2009
Jim Avignon, Doin it cool for the East Side, 2009

In 1991 he added the words “Money Machine”, which remained until 1996, as an ironic comment on the advertising agency Werbe- und Veranstaltungsagentur (Wuva) that aimed to commercially exploit the Wall paintings. Together with a class of Berlin art school students, he painted a new version of the picture in 2013. It now shows a satirical panorama of Berlin.

Jim Avignon adding the words “money machine” to his painting, 1997
Jim Avignon adding the words “money machine” to his painting, 1997

Aged twenty, Avignon first came to West Berlin in 1988 and started sketching in cafés und techno clubs. A cosmopolitan painter, concept artist, illustrator, and performer, he is now based in Berlin. He is also a musician and performs with his band Neoangin. Avignon likes to defy the rules of the art market. He himself saw the Gallery as an opportunity to raise his profile in Berlin.

all artworks