Hanging from a scaffolding high above city streets with paint and brushes may look like a daredevil’s way to make a living, but the makers of outside wall art are actually highly-skilled artists. The techniques used for hand-painting billboard-size wall art are passed down from generation to generation, and few people are left who know how to do it.
This artistically produced video documents the process of painting a picture that can be 75 feet tall or more, as told by a crew working on a Stella Artois beer advertisement in New York City. Out in all kinds of weather, perched high above the street where they can observe city life, these modern-day Michelangelos take pride in the fact that, although much harder to create, their work will look superior to a printed vinyl version because they can mix their own rich colors of paint.
Working from hand-drawn patterns, the men carefully apply paint a little bit at a time, knowing that what they see up close will look very different from a street perspective. It’s “ridiculously” hard to do, the painters say, and learning how takes years of apprenticing.
This beer-company produced video enables us to view the men from many breathtaking vantage points, emphasizing their precarious position in the air. Be sure to continue watching through the credits at the end to see a speeded-up sequence of the three-week process — “The Ritual Project” that constitutes the originally commisioned video project.
Director/DP/Editor: Malcolm Murray
Concept: Mother NY
Production Co: Mekanism
Presented by Stella Artois