It was tricky finding the route in to Vhils' portrait. But there it was at the back of a building facing the river. During the Cold War, it would have been right by the Berlin Wall.
Using his trademark carving technique, Vhils featured one half of creative Berlin street and performance artists Various & Gould.
Behind the portrait is a grim GDR-era block which once housed training facilities for East Germany's Energy Authority. The wasteland between it and the river has been earmarked for an unpopular ongoing redevelopment of the Spree's banks called Mediaspree.
The anarchist/anti-globalisation movement's thoughts on the project are obvious. But objections came from all sectors of society against the privatisation and commercialisation of the riverfront and called for a 50m wide public-access strip along the river, among other things.
Meanwhile, round the corner from the Vhils, other artists had been at work. The 'ISC' tag likely references the nearby International Solar Centre, housed in the former gasworks central depot.
Street artist Vhils’ style is unique and tracking down his giant portraits in Berlin led me also to a disused railroad workshop which was a centre for street art, and a Death Strip building that was being gentrified.
Historical photos of Berlin’s municipal gasworks are on the website of its early-20th-century-central depot, which has a new extension and now houses the International Solar Centre. The extension was one of the first projects under the Mediaspree redevelopment project.