Shamil Gimayev was born in Kasan (Russia) in 1954. He trained as an art teacher and studied painting. In 1983 he and his wife and son moved to East Berlin. His painting “Worlds People – Wir sind ein Volk” is the longest painting in the East Side Gallery and portrays 40 years of recent history.
“Worlds People – Wir sind ein Volk” by Shamil Gimayev is the longest painting in the Gallery. Abstract faces, famous buildings, and phrases can be seen among countless patterns. The surrounding streetlights were integrated into the painting and for a time, even the pavement in front was painted. Gimayev added an inscription along the upper edge: “Zwischen der Mauer, zwischen Berlin und Berlin, Deutschen und Deutschen (...) Leb nicht dazwischen, sondern lebe ganz, wie Deutschland jetzt auch” (“Between the Wall, between Berlin and Berlin, Germans and Germans (...) Don’t live in between, live to the full, like Germany now, too”). With its many images and messages, the painting takes the viewer on a journey back in time and through history.
Gimayev attended the local art college, qualifying as an art teacher in 1973, and studied fine-art painting at the Leningrad Academy of Art. In 1983 he moved with his German wife and their son to East Berlin. Here, Gimayev joined the East German arts associations Kulturbund and Verein Bildender Künstler. He regularly exhibited his works in Berlin and Kasan, where he also performed as a singer-songwriter. He and his wife have lived in Brandenburg since 2008.