While on her way to the office Tor Art Director Irene Gallo often sees painters covering the side of a Park Avenue South building with the latest movie advertising. When she met one of them at the Illustration Master Class she was able to learn “This Is How You Paint a 150 Foot Tall Batman”

The process is clearly physically taxing but there seems to be real joy in being able to work so loosely and so large. At the distance the viewer is seeing the work, the giant brush strokes all tighten up, making the image look crystal clear. Still, Dan says that portraits do require special attention and are reserved for the lead painters on the crew. I asked Dan who he has painted most often and it was, as I had guessed, Johnny Depp. (Did I mention that I have been obsessed with watching this wall over the past two decades? Cripes, Alice in Wonderland looked like a lot of work.)

Large, painted outdoor ads apparently are rare in New York. Out here, Hollywood entertainers and superstar athletes still vie for attention and prestige on immense outdoor advertisements but hardly any buildings have paintable sides. Although billboards on Sunset remain important, they’ve been upstaged by “supergraphics” made of plastic or vinyl that can be stretched across the side of a building.

One thought on “Paint-By-(Big)-Numbers

  1. I’m more interested in the nitty-gritty of planing it out to scale. It would’t do if Batman’s head were taller that it was wide and twice the size it should be.

    Do you suppose Johnny Depp will play the lead role for the next lauch of the Batman franchise? No, not the Joker… I mean Batman.

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