Art as a common language

Here’s why the house wall at Bonn’s Kult 41 has been painted

Die Künstler mit den Organisatoren der Weltbaustelle Bonn: Adolfo Torrico (vorne links), Anthony DiPaolo (vorne rechts) und viele Projektbeteiligte gestalten die Wand des Kult 41.

The artists with the organisers of World Construction Site Bonn: Adolfo Torrico (front right), Anthony DiPaulo (front left) and many participants in the project created the wall at Kult 41.

Bonn. One speaks no English, the other no Spanish. And yet the two artists sometimes understand each other better without an interpreter when talking about artistic expertise.

Adolfo Torrico comes from Bolivia, Anthony DiPaolo from the USA – and as part of the Bonn Event Days for the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) they are together designing a mural for the house wall of Kult 41 in the Macke quarter that reflects these 17 goals.

The art project is one of the events for the Weltbaustelle (World Construction Site) Bonn. The artists answered questions from interested Bonn residents at an Artist Talk. For this, the GreenDrinks Bonn initiative had invited them to Eutopia on Thomas-Mann-Straße, a space where art, science and commitment to social issues work hand in hand to create joint contributions for a better world.

DiPaulo and Torrico had spent several weeks creating a joint design. It will be interesting to see how their different styles mesh together.

Climate change evident everywhere

Torrico is very concerned with nature and also with the survival of indigenous peoples and this can be clearly seen in the themes portrayed in his works and the strong colours used. By contrast, the New Yorker DiPaulo, who has lived in Bonn for several years, often paints in an abstract or symbolic way and tends to use paler colours that create a certain mood. They could not be more different.

The same applies to their origins. DiPaolo represents the global North and thus the originators of climate change and Torrico, who comes from near Bonn’s twin city of La Paz, the South as the suffering half of the earth.

Climate change is also making itself felt in Bolivia, he says. “This is a global problem, and therefore it’s important the make the sustainability goals known throughout the whole world.” DiPaolo’s motivation was to “make visible what is invisible,” and to show that there is still hope. One should not only talk about this, but also do something.

Both therefore see the joint project as a challenge. They did not give away what the work will look like – it can be seen at the unveiling on 29 June. There are other events this coming Saturday, 22 June at the “World Renew Day” from 3pm at the United Nations Square with a rally and a concert with the Ukranian singer Ruslana.

The final event is a large street festival on Saturday 29 June from 2pm at Kult 41, Hochstadenring 41.

(Original text: Stefan Knopp. Translation: kc)