SF's spray can maestro takes Berlin — but what about those 500,000 euros?
But by his visit in 1985, Prigoff was underwhelmed by what he saw. "It had become a funny zoo," he remembers, tourists gawking at East Berliners and tagging the wall with shout-outs to relatives in Des Moines.
Although Keith Haring and Quick subsequently created memorable pieces on the wall, Prigoff thinks the site's sociopolitical significance has shrunk. "Chor Boogie is a great artist, he deserves all the attention he gets. But [his painting on the wall] doesn't do anything for me in the context of art. There are a lot of walls in the world, and that's just one of them."
Not everyone agrees. Lux tipped off Die Bunte Zeitung, one of Berlin's major newspapers, that he would be looking for 500,000 euros for the piece of the wall Boogie had painted — dwarfing sales of individual wall pieces in the past. The day after the article ran, they had an offer. The piece still wasn't finished. After that, Boogie had an audience of 100-plus people watching him complete his cash cow.
Back in San Francisco among the streets he's helped to make more beautiful, Boogie's not sure what's going on with the deal — and perhaps almost as important, all that cash — vagaries of "contracts and commissions," he says. Improbably, he's washing his hands clean of the matter, for now.
"What's the next one?" He smiles, possibilities dancing across his face. "The Great Wall of China!" He's joking, but the future for Boogie — and street art in general — will invariably include larger canvasses.
CHOR BOOGIE'S URBAN OSMOSIS NYE OPENING PARTY
Fri/31 7 p.m.–late, free
1141 Polk, SF
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