11 June 2008

Hesitant Berlin Remix




There’s something very touching about amateur art. Maybe it has to do with the degree of effort which goes into it, and the fact that this effort is often so distressingly visible in the final result. In this example, found on a flea market, you can see how much love and time went into the details of the Old National Gallery’s façade, the building at the center of the composition. There is a depth to the shadows behind the columns not found in the rendering of the tree, or the Old Museum shown to the left.

And then there is the one whacking great curious detail which anyone who knows Berlin a little will immediately stumble upon: Berlin’s TV tower is definately not visible from this angle. In fact, you’d have spin clockwise on your heel by at least 120°, and then levitate a good 90m or so in order to get a glimpse of the East German concrete cocktail swirler. It’s a deliberate mistake, I’m sure. As though the anonymous artist had wanted to get as much of Berlin into one picture as possible. But the faintness of the TV tower looks less like a stab at atmospheric perspective, and more like hesitance in the face of artistic license.