Wall paper planes

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Upon my return to Sydney, I was commissioned to do a mural in the Universal Magazines office in Sydney.  Let’s not waste any time getting to the time lapse of the project….

I used tape, acrylic paint and acrylic paint markers (so as not to fumigate the office while they were working).

Now to backtrack… As the client was not keen to have an enormous animal or two sprawled across their walls (as I most certainly would have done otherwise), the concept sketches, (based on the broad ideas of paper, inspiration and spreading ideas) looked something like this (made a gif to keep things jazzy):

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Great. Now my blog feels like Las Vegas.

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Great Willy Wonka Wall of China Town

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Just on the edge of China Town in San Fantastic-rancisco is a tech co-op space called The Vault. It’s underground, it’s full of computer-bound entrepreneurs, and it’s on the old site of the famous Ghirardelli chocolate factory (circa 1863). That’s right, this one’s an antique.

As nobody in the space seemed to have the foggiest idea of the place’s historical significance, the community manager (SO MANY STARTUP WORDS) decided an old advertisement for the chocolate factory would be the perfect fit for the reception area’s mural. Only problem was that I’d never actually done any text on a mural – ever… And as this was more of a ‘replicate and exaggerate’ sort of job, I needed to be a little more planned/precise/particular about how I would get this thing up on a wall, rather than just freestyling it as I usually do. It was also to be on a grey wall and using only black paint, unlike my standard bright colours – so I managed to pull the ‘artist’ card and bargain a bit of gold into the equation too.

The whole thing was rather a trendy sounding idea.

So I did a bit of photoshop work to see how it could be placed, fused the advertisement with some doodles from an old Ghirardelli sign that I liked, projected it on the wall, slapped some masking tape on the straight line edges, and got hectic with the black paint. When I say hectic, I mean as precise as possible. (Neck pain for days. I’m fine now though, thanks Klaus for the amateur chiropractic work.)

I did have to take some liberties with the text as the blocky resolution of the projector proved to be only adequate for a rough guide. Anyway, once it was all done, I had intended on gold leafing just the shadow of the heading (as planned, and shown in red on the projection). Needless to say, that freestyling side of me came out in the eleventh hour, and significantly more gold leaf ended up getting chucked on the wall. Which I’m stoked about, because not only does gold leaf look like Willy Wonka’s golden ticket, it is also just basically extremely epic.

I have been breathing out gold leaf dust flecks ever since, like a mythical creature. Note to future users of gold leaf: probably wear a respiratory filter unless you plan to attend some sort of dungeons and dragons convention every day for the rest of your life.

Painty Pointy Precipice

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I was commissioned to paint this mural for a house in Cow Hollow. The request was for the image of a Bison as a tribute to Boulder, Colorado (and which I also thought was appropriate considering the mural’s location).

Enlisting Klaus, we set about taping up and painting an abstract version of the Flatirons rock formation for the background. I then-

Nope. No, I then did nothing else.

I intended on drawing a giant Bison on this chunk of dining room wall, but never got the chance. It seems our patron was so pleased with the work, that he wanted us to leave it as-is, and paint him a separate artwork that is in keeping with the theme, but one that he can also take with him when he moves out of the house one day. How good is that? Keep ’em peeled for part 2!

What Does the Fox Say?

 

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In the interest of staying relevant and on the pulse of popular culture. Wait. Let me start again. In a convenient coincidence, I have just finished a mural of foxes in the same week as the release of that catchy new hit single  “The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)” (dingadingdingding ding) touted as this year’s Gangnam Style – so you know it’s a ripper.

Finally someone (three former members of the Harvard Fox Club) let me paint a massive double-height wall in their residential home with the help of many pals, two big-ass ladders, a ton of nachos and the occasional beer. After drawing a shockingly vague sketch on an old cardboard box of how I wanted the geometries done, it took about a month (a few nights every week and a party) and here’s the progress:

Yep, little guy on the right is totally dreaming up those shapes.

An overwhelming number of people who came to see the mural commented how strikingly ‘3D’ it appeared in person. About 4 people. Such feedback pleased me as it is, after all, 2 dimensional pretending to be 3 dimensional. Which is not that many dimensions compared to how many we might actually be existing amongst according to string theory. Anyone who has ever wondered about space and time should watch the series The Fabric of the Cosmos: It’s fascinating.

Special thanks to all who helped: Klaus, Paul, Pascale, the 2 Canadian Alex’s, Katie, Kramer and all you cats at the post-masking tape party. And the landlord – for not spewing about it.

If you think this is the last fox post, buddy – you are wrong. All good things come in threes.

Mural Mural on the Wall

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Aaaaaaaand it’s done. Chicken mural – check… en mural.

The Pensive Poultry Collection’s Zen Hen? Glorified. Dr Klaus and thedarclaud? Creatively immortalised until they rent the building out to someone else and repaint the whole place white. Good thing I took some photos.

Massive thanks to [freespace] for giving us a wall to get clucky all over. Last night was the exhibition and fundraising party – the most bohemian of hoots. Full of LED lights, bubble machines, face paints – wow. It’s sounding more like a rave. It really was very bohemian. There was an organic veggie patch and a ‘parkcycle‘.

By the looks of the freespace july indiegogo campaign today, we’re going to have another month of it…. which translates to another mural! STRAP IN, BARNYARD FANS. Probably looking at some bovine related content next time around, so all you beef enthusiasts – brace yourselves.

Pre-party and jazzed:

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Good heavens! My hand has disappeared.

Expanding the Canvas – Work in Progress

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Turning lemons into lemonade. Isn’t that just something. I think that I can attribute a good proportion of the successes in my life to exactly this.

The proverbial ‘closing a door and opening a window’.

And this time, it lead me to this mural I’m working on with Klaus.

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It was a miserable drizzling day yesterday in San Francisco but we were still endeavouring to get to some free dance classes in Golden Gate Park. After a cascade of events that mounted against the dance class plan, we found ourselves heading to a ‘postcard festival’ in SOMA as advertised on fun & cheap. Turns out there is only one post card in the whole place, but it’s crammed full of artists and they’ve got a wall that they’re wanting us to work on for the [FreeSpace] exhibition on June 26th. HELLO LEMONADE.

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So we rode our bikes through the rain today with a backpack full of paint (leftover from prop building for Winning Formula), masking tape and tupperware and laid siege on this wall with only a vague plan in place. And who dropped past while we were working? This suited-and-tied chap with some deep Patrick Bateman vibes. How’s Christian Bale playing Bateman and Batman? Only difference is the ‘e’. Well there are lots of character differences but that’s not where I was going with it. Anyway, the guy who came to visit was the Lieutenant Governor of California and former Mayor of San Francisco, Gavin Newsom (here’s an image comparison just to make this all worthwhile: Newsom vs. Bateman). Nice guy though.

We’re halfway done on this mural and I’m heading back tomorrow for round two. Ding ding.