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Thierry Noir


Thierry Noir, the pioneering French artist, and muralist based in Berlin, is renowned as the first person to paint on the Berlin Wall during the 1980s. His brightly-colored paintings adorned vast stretches of the Wall, some of which still exist today on surviving segments, including the iconic East Side Gallery. 

Noir's distinctive style and work have become emblematic of the movement opposing the Wall and established him as a trailblazer in the street art movement worldwide.

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Name: Thierry

Surname: Noir

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Thierry Noir BIOGRAPHY

Thierry Noir
Image Credit:Thierry Noir

Early Life

Born in Lyon, France, in 1958, Thierry Noir embarked on a life-changing journey to West Berlin in January 1982. Inspired by the city’s vibrant music scene, including artists like David Bowie, Nina Hagen, and Iggy Pop, Noir decided to settle in Berlin, where he initially resided in a squat overlooking the Berlin Wall. 

He even pursued a music career, touring as a multi-instrumentalist with the German musical group Sprung Aus Den Wolken.

What is Thierry Noir known for?

Thierry Noir
Image Credit:Thierry Noir

Thierry Noir, the pioneering French artist, and muralist based in Berlin, is renowned as the first person to paint on the Berlin Wall during the 1980s.

Career highlights

Thierry Noir
Image Credit: Wide Walls

Painting the Berlin Wall (1984-1991)

In 1984, Noir, together with fellow French artist Christophe-Emmanuel Bouchet, began painting the Berlin Wall as a response to the melancholy and pressure of living in its shadow.

They used scavenged paint from construction sites, daring to create large images on the Wall, a taboo even among alternative circles at the time. Despite initial skepticism and suspicion, Noir’s work gained appreciation from Berliners, leading to an artistic movement around the Wall. 

Over five years, he painted approximately six kilometers of the Wall, contributing significantly to its eventual fall in 1989.6

Post-Berlin Wall Work (1990-present)

Following the Wall’s fall, Noir’s talent was recognized, and he was invited to create murals at the East Side Gallery, a preserved remnant of the Berlin Wall in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg. His artworks from the Wall were auctioned internationally, spreading his name and art worldwide.

Throughout the 1990s and beyond, Noir continued to thrive as an artist, collaborating with various musicians and painting murals across different cities, including London, Los Angeles, and Sydney. His work with U2 on the Zoo TV Tour and album cover brought him further acclaim.

Thierry Noir List of Work

Thierry Noir
Image Credit:Thierry Noir

Thierry Noir’s Impact Beyond the Art World

Thierry Noir’s artistic influence extends far beyond the boundaries of traditional art, leaving a mark on various cultural and philanthropic ventures. Discover how this trailblazing artist has made a difference in the world beyond his iconic Berlin Wall murals:

  • Lights, Camera, Action! Wings of Desire Cameo: In 1987, Noir’s artistic journey took an unexpected turn when he appeared in the renowned Wim Wenders film Wings of Desire. 

His presence in the film showcased the integration of his art into popular culture, elevating street art to a wider audience. The ladder, depicted in Wings of Desire as Noir worked on the Berlin Wall, now resides in the permanent collection of the esteemed Wende Museum in Los Angeles.

  • Art Illuminates Berlin: Berlin Festival of Lights: Since 2014, Noir has been an integral part of the Berlin Festival of Lights. His vibrant artworks are digitally projected onto iconic Berlin landmarks, including the Brandenburg Gate, the Berlin Cathedral, and the P5 Tower in Potsdamer Platz, transforming the city into a mesmerizing canvas of light and color.
  • Art for a Cause: Supporting Homeless Youth: Noir’s passion for art extends to charitable initiatives. In collaboration with drinks firm Hennessy, he created custom bottle labels, with the proceeds going to the Centrepoint charity for homeless youth. Through his art, Noir contributes to meaningful social change.
  • Turning Tables for a Cause: Rega RP1 Turntables: In 2016, Noir teamed up with audio equipment manufacturer Rega for a noble cause. He hand-painted a series of seven Rega RP1 turntables, each a unique work of art. 

These turntables were auctioned to raise funds for Amnesty International, reflecting Noir’s dedication to making a positive impact.

Legacy and Collections

Thierry Noir’s Berlin Wall segments, featuring his iconic, cartoon-like figures, have become symbolic representations of freedom and artistic protest against oppression. They are on permanent display in private and public collections globally, including the Allied Museum in Berlin, the Newseum in Washington, D.C., and the Wende Museum in Los Angeles, among others.

Noir’s influence on the street art movement remains profound, and his work continues to inspire artists and enthusiasts alike. To commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall’s 30th anniversary, Noir and fellow artist STIK collaborated on new artworks displayed at the Imperial War Museum in London.

From humble beginnings to international recognition, Thierry Noir’s artistic journey stands as a testament to the power of art in challenging boundaries and celebrating freedom. As he continues to leave his mark on cityscapes worldwide, Noir’s legacy as a pioneering street artist remains firmly secured in art history.

NFT and Metaverse

In keeping with the ever-evolving landscape of art and technology, Thierry Noir has ventured into the world of NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) and Metaverse projects. These initiatives represent an exploration of the intersection between art, digital innovation, and decentralization.

  • NOIRCOIN – An Artistic Experiment

NOIRCOIN ( serves as an experimental platform that delves into the realms of art, money, and fungibility while examining the juxtaposition of centralization and decentralization and the transition from the physical to the digital. 

Through NOIRCOIN, Noir challenges conventional notions of value and ownership, aiming to create a unique and immersive art experience for the audience.

  • NOIR SUPER CLASSIC – A Future Enigma

Among Noir’s upcoming projects is the enigmatic NOIR SUPER CLASSIC. Little is known about this mysterious venture, but it has piqued the curiosity of art enthusiasts and digital art enthusiasts alike. 

Given Noir’s reputation for breaking artistic barriers, NOIR SUPER CLASSIC is expected to be an exceptional and innovative creation.

  • Fractionalized Works of Art – Bridging Ownership

Thierry Noir’s involvement in the burgeoning world of NFTs also extends to the fractionalization of works of art. Through this initiative, groups interested in owning portions of a particular artwork can register their ownership structure on an official online ledger.

Fractional ownership offers a novel way for art enthusiasts to participate in the art market, making ownership of valuable pieces more accessible and democratized. For further details on this fascinating venture, interested parties can contact

  • Thierry Noir Studio’s Facilitated Fractionalisation Initiatives

In addition to inviting external groups to explore fractional ownership, Thierry Noir Studio spearheads its fractionalization initiatives. These endeavors provide new avenues for art enthusiasts and collectors to engage innovatively with Noir’s masterpieces. 

For more information on these studio-led fractionalization endeavors, visit

What could a NFT collection of Thierry Noir look like?

More about Thierry Noir

Visit the official website to explore the full list of Wenders’ works and stay informed about recent updates.

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