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'It’s a great way to get over the preciousness of my work'
July 17, 2012 9:43 AM   Subscribe

This is How You Paint a 150 Foot Tall Batman

Painting the Skies of New York(Youtube)

The use of Painted Ads stretches back a long way. The painters themselves are known as walldogs. A time-lapse video shows some walldogs painting an ad with David Beckham, though there are still some vintage ads hanging around.
posted by the man of twists and turns (20 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
NYC's history of painted wall signs is interesting, it was basically one company that got around the billboard ban in historical neighborhoods by making that case that painted wall ads are a persistent and unique feature of the historical landscape - I just wish Manhattan got more of the artier/crazier/designy wall paintings that Brooklyn gets.
posted by The Whelk at 9:47 AM on July 17, 2012


The Ledge EndsAAAAAAAUGHHHHHH
posted by hal9k at 9:49 AM on July 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's awesome hearing how they do this. I kind of wish the image hadn't been so silly, but I guess that, as the article says, it'll be painted over in a month or two anyway. And it really is neat to think of all those people painting it by hand.
posted by koeselitz at 10:00 AM on July 17, 2012


Heh, and the paint lasts all of six weeks. Persistent. Heh. :)
posted by Malor at 10:01 AM on July 17, 2012


1) Paint Batman as you normally would.

2) Paint a teeny little Batmobile next to him.

3) There is no step three.
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:02 AM on July 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Great link. I've marveled at those painters and their work (and the fact that anyone is still painting these things by hand) many times. That wall always has a hand painted billboard. There is another wall about the same size near Madison Sq. Garden that is always hand painted.
posted by JBennett at 10:03 AM on July 17, 2012


Google Street View gives you a gallery of recent work on the wall.
From the southbound lane on streetview you can see an ad for Horrible Bosses.

Northbound on streetview gives you the Hangover II.
until you get to 23rd street and it changes to Terminator Salvation.

Here is that other wall by MSG (blank and ready for paint)
posted by JBennett at 10:14 AM on July 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is cool.

It's interesting to think that this is what little remains of a once thriving billboard painting market, and that this will be gone in another 15 years or so. Dying breed, etc...
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 10:17 AM on July 17, 2012


I wonder if they're ever tempted to paint a mustache on the previous ad just before covering it up with the new one.
posted by orme at 10:23 AM on July 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think they use magic to do that stuff. I don't care what that guy says in the article.

IT'S MAGIC DAMMIT! THEY MAKE IT WITH MAGIC!!
posted by Skygazer at 10:27 AM on July 17, 2012


Whoa. I had no idea that this process was so incredibly low-tech, and that the artists don't use any sort of grid when copying the original. I'd love to see more shots of the `cartoon` process...
posted by schmod at 10:29 AM on July 17, 2012


Previously, for people who want more painting video.
posted by RobotHero at 10:31 AM on July 17, 2012


I can't remember - is Batman gay?
posted by KokuRyu at 10:36 AM on July 17, 2012


He's gay for punching.
posted by The Whelk at 10:38 AM on July 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


He's not gay, but if you thought he might have a weirdly shaped, totally white dick after looking at this picture, you're forgiven (and just as immature as me)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:41 AM on July 17, 2012


No Mike it's the world's strangest fleshlight for sure
posted by The Whelk at 10:43 AM on July 17, 2012


My windows look out on a 5 story brick wall that has always had a sign painted on it, or sometimes draped over it.

It is interesting to watch when they paint it. For the longest time it advertised a nearby strip club. The gimmick then, with painting it, was that you could stop paying after a few months and the owner would have to pay to have your sign covered, which they seldom did back in the day.

My favorite recent sign on there was an "edgy" beer add that wanted to look like a peeling paper sign glued to a brick wall, and so, you guessed it, they hand-painted a brick wall onto the brick wall for the background.
posted by StickyCarpet at 10:53 AM on July 17, 2012


You learn quickly not to step back and admire your work.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:57 AM on July 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'd love to see more shots of the `cartoon` process.

It's a pretty damned ancient technique. It's how Michelangelo transferred his drawings to the Sistine Chapel ceiling. The cartoon process is pretty accurately depicted in the movie The Agony and the Ecstasy.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:00 AM on July 17, 2012


I have been walking past that wall since high school, and always wondered who the guys were who painted it. Thanks for this!
posted by evidenceofabsence at 12:09 PM on July 17, 2012


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