*Update “A Diologue in Mark Making was a video that documented the painting and process of this monumental mural. It was finally finished and ready to share.
Alex “Hense” Brewer just finished what he has stated as his largest Mural to date, measuring a staggering 137 feet by 170 feet wide. The Mural installation took place in Peru over a 1 month period. The Project was organized by Morbo Gallery and funded by the ISIL institute. Hense’s vision was painted with the help of a team of 11 painters working together on the project. With little to no ability to communicate in the native language Hense took on a tall task. The artist although familiar with larger scale murals was in for a new experience with this wall. The scale of this wall is monumental and unmatched in its size for a full color installation such as this. In recent years there have been many large scale murals, but only a handful compare to this in size. Hense working more intuitively chose to not use a sketch or preconceived concept for the mural. Instead he chose a palette that would contrast and enhance the overall landscape of its surroundings.
Working with these basic guides Hense set out to create a colorful yet expressionistic version of his personal style. His ability to create distinct marks and push his hand onto the large scale is impressive. When an artist like Hense, who relies on creating distinct marks and impromptu patterns tackles something as large as this you could see the problems it could raise. The motion of one’s hand gesture being related 30 ft is something that could lose its impact during this translation. This was not the case in his work, each mark and pattern is just as strong at 170 feet as if it were 3 feet. Most of the items used to make these marks were made on the spot, or put together spontaneously to fulfill an objective. There are no tools or brushes to paint a 170 ft wall or make a mark that could be seen on this scale, so Hense’s ability to create these tools on the spot is impressive. The layering effect is also a substantial undertaking at this scale as well, being able to create depth at close range or if viewing from blocks away is not an easy task. The mural was painted using some spray paint but a staggering 200 gallons of latex paint.
Hense has raised the bar once again in scale and execution of another monumental Mural. I applaud him for his willingness to tackle such a large wall with a beautiful aesthetic. The abstract nonrepresentational work of Hense flows beautifully along the Lima cityscape. Creating beauty were concrete had lived in a desolate and bleak setting. Colors and the hand of Hense now capture the cities eyes allowing those to contemplate how and why was this mural placed. A question that is an example, and affirmation of the power of Art.
We just finished up a large exterior installation in Lima, Peru. This is my tallest work to date measuring 137 feet tall and 170 feet wide.
The project was organized by Morbo Gallery and funded by the ISIL Institute in MiraFlores, Lima.
I worked with my head assistant and a crew of 10 professional painters over the course of a month to complete the work.
With all my exterior projects, I rarely use a preconceived sketch or concept to go off of. In this case, I presented a few rough concepts to the school to express my vision for the building. However, I always like to leave some room for creative freedom and spontaneity while working. This project was challenging because of the scale. Every shape and mark that we made on the wall had to be massive to be seen from a great distance. I also wanted to leave smaller, details that would be seen by viewers close to the work. In this case most of my painting crew were local to Lima and spoke little to no English and I speak very little Spanish so it was challenging to communicate with them in the beginning of the project. After a month of working everyday with them we managed to be able to understand each other. I´m very grateful for that experience and I learned a lot from them and hope that they were inspired in some way by assisting in the process of the artwork.
We used over 200 gallons of exterior latex paint and a small amount of aerosol on this work. Most of the tools we used were rollers of various sizes, a paint sprayer, brushes, and homemade tools. One thing I feel is important when working on this scale is the improvisational use of tools to create the marks and shapes. In order to reach heights and lengths I had to attach brushes to extension poles to paint in hard to reach areas. We used strings and ropes to create circles and lines that needed to be accurate. However, most gestures and shapes were created freehand. I always push to keep a loose, painterly feel at a large scale. All my work is purely abstract and non representational.
These works are inspired by the architecture and context of the structure. In this case I wanted to use very bright colors that would pop against the sky and next to other near by architecture in Lima. This piece has many layers in it. some of which we covered completely. It’s important to me that the work has a very layered and built up look. I’m never afraid to destroy the image at any given time if it means I have to in order to achieve progression in the work.
I’m always wanting to challenge myself and the viewer in regards to painting and what that can be.
Photo Credits: Christian Rinke, Os Villavicencio, Gino Moreno, Jules Bay, Elard Robles and HENSE.
Special thanks to: Jules Bay, Taylor Means, Morbo Gallery, ISIL Institute, Luar Zeid, Panorama, Angel, Paul, Pedro, Alex, Miguel, Jaime, Mayo, William, Christian Rinke, Gino Moreno, Os Villavicencio, Carlos Benvenuto, Candice House, Elard Robles. For all the hard work and making this project come to fruition.