Last week I was given the rad opportunity to paint a mural on a temporary wall over at the Duane Street Hotel in Manhattan. The wall is covering some construction as they build out a new space for their restaurant.
The concept for the mural was one that embodied designs and styles from Persia, Morocco, Asia, France, America, and Mexico - all of which are some primary influences of Jehangir Mehta, the executive chef for the new restaurant. I've eaten at Mehta's restaurant Graffiti before and his ability to mix an array of flavors from various cultures into one simple and beautiful palette is outstanding. It was fun to create a work that captured the flavor of Mehta's vision while feeding my desire to expand common cultural structures and shapes in a way that made them ambiguous and yet are united and leveled by their color palette.
The base gray and browns for the color palette were chosen from colors that existed in the hotel lobby already. Since the space had a lot of orange tones, I added blues to contrast add coolness to the warm color scheme of the hotel. The gradients were an excellent way to add some depth, while later, the glossed chevrons added a surprise dynamic that made the mural engaging. I was happy to incorporate the chevrons in this subtle way, since my last mural was nearly all chevron.
Drawing was a key part of this mural. I drew out the designs to familiarize my eye and hand with what shapes needed to be made. From there I used my sketches to freehand the drawing onto the walls. This was a careful and concentrated task - but fun.
After drawing I filled in a lot of base colors and textures, then I moved into creating the dark lines that would begin the finalizing process of the mural. The final lines required even more concentration, but at times felt a little easier to make since my arm had already done it once. Precision was easier and the result was pretty gratifying.
Later I added gradients to give the mural some depth it was needing. It was feeling very flat and this added a dimension that made it much more pleasing to look at.
I taped out my chevrons and began to gloss. It was fun to using so much gloss at once with a big roller - I will definitely be using this again. Fisk and I had a great conversation about tints and gloss that will definitely come up with another mural in the future.
Peeling the tape was the last step! Then some photos of the finished mural below!
Forever and always I'm eternally grateful for Fisk when I get projects like these. He was so helpful in the process of making schematics, critiquing the mural in process, and of course, taking amazing photos that I then get to post on this blog for you. Thanks Fisk!!