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Artist behind iconic Berlin Wall mural dies at 62 — Analysis

The man who painted the world-famous Berlin Wall mural commonly known as ‘The Kiss’, which became a symbol of the end of the Cold War, passed away at the age of 62 on Sunday night.

Dmitri Varubel, a Moscow native, had spent his childhood in Berlin. His most iconic work is graffiti on a remnant of the wall titled ‘My God, Help Me to Survive This Deadly Love’, which depicts a kiss between Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev and Erich Honecker, who led the former East Germany. A photo taken at a meeting between them inspired the mural.

In 1990, the graffiti was done just months after the Wall collapsed. The reunification in Germany occurred by the close of the year.

“For many years, I lived my private life, while the painting lived its own life,”Vrubel shared his story with The Calvert Journal in 2014. “In the early 2000s, people started bringing back souvenirs from Berlin – magnets, mugs, and the like – with the ‘Kiss’ on them, which were now being sold not just at the East Side Gallery, but all over the city.”

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When the Berlin authorities began renovations in 2009, Vrubel destroyed the art. This upset Vrubel, who then painted a new version of ‘The Kiss’.

On Monday morning, several Russian journalists reported the news of his death.

The artist’s wife, Viktoria Timofeyeva, wrote on social media last month that Vrubel had been hospitalized with complications from Covid-19, and his health had deteriorated significantly.

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