In the 1970s I was in Wuppertal for the first time, for a visit to the zoo (what else for?). My first ride with the famous suspension railway was exiting. The line ran right past dignified Gründerzeit buildings, passed the mostly crowded Sonnborn motorway junction and sliding over the banks of the Wupper, we were accompanied by a funny pet society, painted in bright colours to the natural stone walls, covering the shore line. I was exited by those exotic animals and thought, it were a clever image campaign of the zoo, not knowing that it was the private (and illegal) work of Wuppertal based artist ERIKA NAGEL. She thought, Wuppertal could be more colourful and went to work. The paintings popped up all over the Wupper shoreline and were discussed in the papers and in public controversially.
ERIKA NAGEL died 2007 in the age of 87 years. Until 2001 she has ensured that her paintings were refreshed. Who cares for her animals now, after her death? At least so far it seems, that the local writers respect her work with a few exceptions. May be the talents of today recognize the relationship in the spirit with this artist – I hope so.