Berlin: Embankment 1945

Berlin: Embankment 1945

Oil on Canvas, Dirt, Salt and Other Particulate Matter 20" x 16"


In Berlin, the stories vibrate just beneath audibility within its stones.

When the Red Army reached the city in April of 1945, they were prepared to exact from it every ounce of suffering endured by the Soviet Union at German hands. Of course, how does one quantify suffering? And, even if that were possible objectively, how does one repair one's self through the creation of more suffering? These are, of course, questions for saints to ask when mere men are poised to sack the capital of the despised enemy.

The image comes from an account of Nazi Party Chief Martin Bormann's attempt to flee the city after Hitler's suicide. Shortly after encountering some Russians near a U-Bahn embankment, Bormann, traveling with Hitler's former personal physician realized that escape was futile and committed suicide in the rubble. They were buried, unrecognized, where they lay. Their bodies weren't rediscovered until the late 1960's when the sidewalk they were buried under was lifted during a widening of the street. Before, and even after this exhumation, Bormann was considered a fugitive specter of Nazism, the highest ranking of the lot neither dead nor captured.

Available for purchase.

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The foundation of Joe's work. In painting, Joe discovered the possibilities for visual communication and the greatest historical inspiration. His canvasses are largely earlier works, though he will return from time to time to paint on panels or found surfaces.

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Edith Vorsicht! Starker Feuerstrahl! Jap Otto and Nico Dog A Story I Heard Once Backsplash
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