Colossal Media is the largest hand paint mural and outdoor advertising company in the world. We paint large-scale photorealistic murals, art projects, advertising campaigns and more in New York City and nationwide with a level of efficiency and precision that is unmatched. Our scope of work is virtually limitless. Weâ€™ve painted ceilings, stadium tarps, rooftops,
and studios, 300 feet off the ground, on a variety of surfaces, in any weather, detailed, abstract, for elite fine arts clients and major commercial advertisers. Our hand paint work is a careful craft, a well-trained skill, and itâ€™s our life. We take great pride in what we do and can say with confidence that thereâ€™s no one who does it better.
There’s never a dull moment for Colossal Media – and we kind of like it that way. 2013 offered plenty in the way of excitement: We battled superstorms, surprise Nor’easters, a never-ending winter, and another season of summer heat-waves all while crisscrossing the country to paint over 300 murals. With our growth, we push further to challenge ourselves to improve our level of precision, and deliver a superior product. As our team continues to expand, so does the realization that what Colossal offers is much more than a process. It’s a combination of real world expertise, passion, and an amazing group of people that enables us to be the very best at what we do. Over the years, we’ve continued to re-inject our ever-growing base of knowledge and expertise right back into to our company. It’s that knowledge that allows us to continually raise the bar and to evolve from within so that what Colossal brings to the industry will always be the finest that hand paint can offer. We’re proud of having built the hand paint market into the powerful media platform that it is today. This book represents the 9th addition of some of our favorite projects from the past year and highlights our unyielding commitment to always hand paint ™.
If you plan on painting in San Antonio, thatâ€™s where you should ship the paint. Ours happened to wind up in Austin. So we made Fed, our always so dependable shop manager, personally deliver the buckets. On a horse. Donâ€™t question our methods.
Loiter Squad reppinâ€™ in the heart of WillyBurg.
Badoo doubles up in Greenpoint.
American Apparel + Two girls rocking floral one-pieces + Bearded dude on a fixie + Williamsburg = The most hipster thing ever? Good lord, I think we found the formula.
Pass the Courvoisier in Bushwick.
Apparently Tyler the Creator can spit more than just hot fire on the mic. He can also spit kittens? As Hunter S. Thompson once eloquently stated, â€œWhen the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.â€? Thanks for the memories, Adult Swim!
What do a robot, wine glass, liquor & melting adidas all have in common? No days off in over 3 weeks.
Four years and over 60 walls later, Vans continues to deliver some of our most challenging and engaging artwork. Keep it coming.
Remember when Johnny Utah said, “I caught my first tube today, Sir”? We do. We also remember painting this beauty for Vans in Williamsburg. And just like the Ex-Presidents, we only live to get radical.
Large Red Bull ad, Lower East Side, New York.
When you need to demonstrate the long reach of a mythological sea beast, hand paint is clearly the only way to go. We crushed this out of the box execution like tentacles on a pirate ship, leaving the landlubber competition in our wake.
2,500 shares, 480 comments, 25,000 likes in under 24 hours: www.facebook.com/DoctorWho
▲ Block out and apply pounce patterns
▲ Spot in color for background
▲ Campaign starts to become recognizable
▲ Dialing in lettering
▲ Patterning mandatory text
▲ Detailing the line work
▲ Start basing in portrait details and adding in background details
▲ As background is complete starting on the foreground
▲ Last touches
In 2004, when Rockstar approached us to promote the release of GTA San Andreas, the craft of hand painted advertising was all but dead. This landmark campaign (our very first!), changed everything. We painted 20 walls in 4 different boroughs, garnering the attention of a public and media starving for an alternative to mass-produced vinyl ads. From massive wallscapes to high-impact streetlevels, each unique production proved that hand paint was no longer a dying art. Itâ€™s impossible for us to forget those first murals, especially since some of the building owners refuse to let us take them down!
The heat index in New York City hit a staggering 107 degrees that Friday, the highest mark yet in a heatwave that gripped the northeast. While many New Yorkers cranked up their air conditioning and hid from the sun, we cranked up production and baked in the sun on this one of seven walls for Stella Artois during that week.
6-story tall zebra donkeys on rainbow backgrounds are why we love Adult Swim. P.S. Colossalâ€™s favorite hybrid animals in no particular order are: zonkeys, jaglions and wholphins
As the sun sets in the heart of SoHo, The Dark Night Rises on one of our largest and most popular walls. With a read of over 10 blocks, thereâ€™s no better way to get your message across â€” unless, of course, Commissioner Gordon lets you borrow the Bat Signal.
The devil is in the details: Adult Swim, Spring Street. Below: BBC America, Grand Street. Below right: Red Bull, Williamsburg & Lower East Side
Red Bull Music Academy kicked off its month-long NYC takeover with a lively lunch hour set by Questlove and Rahzel. Timed perfectly with the completion of the building-sized mural behind them, the two legendary musicians rocked the SoHo crowd during this pop-up performance. We love it when a plan comes together.
When European royalty entrusts you with hand painting her iconic logo, you bite the bullet and buy new coveralls. We kept it classy for this Diane Von Furstenberg production at the Palazzo location in Las Vegas and weâ€™re proud of the results.
With strategically placed walls along the route, Guinness goes bold & bright in Bed-Stuy for the West Indian Day Parade.
Two of our best lower themselves down using manually operated block & tackle rigging.
Rockstar campaigns have always been amongst our most favorite because they always deliver some of the boldest, colorful, and attention grabbing graphics around.
Feeling thirsty yet? Â These four pieces are excellent examples of photorealism and graphic artworks magically mixing to create impactful hand paint ad campaigns.
Sometimes itâ€™s difficult to fully appreciate the craftsmanship of hand paint until it stares you right in the eye. So the next time you run into one our street level murals, walk right up to it and take a look at the brushstrokes. It really is beautiful, man.
With so many talented folks on staff and eager collaborators around the world, we had the opportunity to create some amazing work this year. From t-shirts to gold fronts to breathtaking wallscapes, we kept it fun and varied. The graphic artist Short from Paris designed this eyepopping Colossal graphic for us, which we replicated on a grand scale in Williamsburg & DUMBO, Brooklyn. We feel that it captures the true essence of our company, bursting at the seams with color and standing out from the rest.
The Big Brush Project Colossal collaborated with Greg Lamarche—a NYC-based artist known for his distinctive typography and collages—on the inaugural Big Brush Project, an initiative to implement accessibility to art in public spaces. Greg’s technique of handcutting found letters was a perfect compliment to our precision-based, hand paint production method. A giant wall on Bedford Avenue and Broadway set the stage for the first piece. For this mural, Colossal stepped away from its standard execution methods used on conventional campaigns. Instead of working in sections, each letter was painted individually to put emphasis on Greg’s letter-by-letter hand-cut collage approach.
â€œA walldog is an industry term commonly used to describe being physically chained to the wall and your brush.â€?
Understanding exactly what we do requires a little perspective. This view from above provides just that, showing our two artists in a studio like no other, perched above the chaos of Midtownâ€™s yellow cabstrewn streets, painting Desigualâ€™s facade in perfect unison.
For the second consecutive year, we teamed up with the Art Production Fund to paint the steel roll down gates lining the Bowery. In honor of the legendarily vibrant downtown art scene, we painted the 17 gates after each shop closed at night, suddenly switching to the graveyard shift to accommodate the availability of our canvases. In spite of shops that wouldnâ€™t close and gates that wouldnâ€™t cooperate, we completed the project in 9 days, putting the last touches on the final gate as it was being raised that morning.
Our painstaking attention to detail has earned the trust of todayâ€™s most reputable museums and artists looking to recreate great works on a grand scale. We have now brought our large murals to iconic neighborhoods, turning once blank canvasses into art for the community. We recently executed this mural on behalf of the duo known as Faile, bringing their collage-based street art style to the legendary recording studio Record Plant. Some of musicâ€™s most talented artists recorded here, including John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, and Bruce Springstein, and Faileâ€™s mural pays tribute to this rich history.
In August 2013, we were commissioned by BAM to bring a major pop of color to the hot streets of BK. The mural, an original piece by the artist KAWS, was built to sit in a once abandoned lot overlooking the BAM’s Howard Gilman Opera House (the one with those cool sparkling lights). We’re proud to have had a hand in bringing yet another specimen of visual vibrance to the Ft. Greene neighborhood. Watch out Barclays, you’re next.
Seeking to transform an urban landscape through a large-scale installation of public art, Vanity Fair commissioned legendary street artist Barry McGee aka Twist for its Art in the Streets project. Given the scale of the McGee’s installation, Colossal was brought in to aid the artist in the production of his piece. The wall is on the side of the Mark Morris Dance Center, facing the iconic Brooklyn Academy of Music, and lies a mere block from the newly instated Barclays Center. “Colossal Media not only met all of our expectations for realizing our vision, they far exceeded them. What they offer is genuine artistry, craftsmanship, and attention to even the smallest detail, all on a very large scale. They are not only gifted artists and highly skilled craftsman, but true professionals and partners you can trust.” Young Kim, Creative Director
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We’re excited to announce our latest along The High Line—NYC’s popular public park—with two giant walls painted for The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The art murals have not only proven to deliver an amazing visual impact along The High Line, but have also sparked quite a bit of buzz with mentions from Time Out New York, NYC GO, artinfo and a Facebook post by The Met which alone saw over 2,700 likes, 645 shares & we’re still counting…
Seattle Portland Boise
San Francisco Las Vegas
Los Angeles Las Cruces
Austin San Antonio
Minneapolis Van Buren
Grand Milwaukee Rapids
Our first shop was in a basement/laundry room and did not have a bathroom
The ceiling of our sales department is made from glass. Itâ€™s known as the shark tank
We shared space with kaju big battle at a previous shop
One of us has ridden a bicycle across the US and can ride a wheelie across the Williamsburg bridge
Our first wall was at the corner of 6th ave and 14th st
One of our sales people can do kick flips and was a golden gloves boxer
2 of our apprentices served in the military
To be successful as a Colossal painter experience laying bricks goes much further than painting portraits
After work we use our safety ropes to practice tight rope walking in our shop
Colossal painters spend more hours outside during their lives than inside
Its easier to paint a portrait that’s 50 feet tall than it is to paint one that’s 50 inches tall
During the winter months we start work at 5:30 am to make better use of the limited daylight
2 of us have run a marathon this year
Coming in at 276 gallons annually, Red is our most commonly used paint color.
It takes 4 Colossal painters 37 minutes to move 2500 lbs of weight up 6 flights of stairs.
Most historians still can’t agree but we’re pretty sure most of the pyramids in Egypt were built using the same rigging methods we use to paint our walls today.
We take pride at Colossal for being the source for defining what it means to be a successful painter in the outdoor industry. We paint big, small, upside down, on the groundâ€”anywhere and everywhere. Our painters are masters in the art of replication, able to execute without fail under any obstacle Mother Nature can conjure. Each day holds a new challenge and each completed project leads us to a fresh start. By challenging ourselves to continually evolve as painters and to develop new techniques we become perpetually stronger. As leaders of the industry we welcome the unfamiliar, as our expertise and years of experience allow us to execute any
undertaking in the always hand paint environment. While our ability to replicate any image defines us as painters, itâ€™s talented individuals contributing their unique skillsets day in and day out that together represent the key component in our success. Brushstroke by brushstroke, we move forward onto new walls and into new cities applying unmatched precision. At the end of the day, itâ€™s our passion that remains the defining factor in what makes the Colossal process one thatâ€™s impossible to replicate.
Never without a good poker hand, dan holds the shop high jump record and makes easy work of everything.
Makes meticulous look lazy.
You’ll only miss your heart if it stops pumping. Lucky for us, ours is Puerto Rican.
It’s a long ride back to jersey, late nights and early mornings from the shop couch are the norm for handling your business.
Don’t need no map to steer a ship through a cyclone. Been to the edge of the world and back 3 times last week alone and found a different way back every time.
Gold toothed steam roller, kicks the impossible in its balls.
Does it all and does it all the time.
Half man half amazing.
Do your worst, I guarantee he’ll do his best.
Uses the “how’d he do that” technique often and is widely accredited for teaching cucumbers to be cool.
Can beat most anyone to the bottom of a bottle, paint anything, and steal your girlfriend too.
jason c. ▼
▼ jason j.
Each facade offers its own idiosyncrasies, from texture to absorption rate to accessibility. But no matter how rough the wall, our lettering is always smooth.
Since opening in May at a restored factory building, the Wythe Hotel has helped spiff up a once-desolate corner of Williamsburg — North 11th Street and Wythe Avenue — into an artisanal food-and-drink playpen. Bored of the hotel’s commanding view of Manhattan? Pop over to the Kinfolk Studios, an experimental emporium that houses a design studio, gallery, cafe, bar and a popular Scandinavian restaurant.
Craving live music with a side of smoked trout salad? Cross the street to Brooklyn Bowl, where Questlove spins music on Thursdays, Blue Ribbon serves cozy nibbles, and bowling is an ironic (or would that be unironic?) pastime for 20somethings. “And that’s just the start.” –New York Times, July 18, 2012
The best way to describe Colossal Media is Always Hand Paintâ„˘ Two painters keep it on the level as they begin the lower lettering for our enormous Jack Danielâ€™s production in SoHo.
Deadlines donâ€™t care about how nasty the weather is and therefore neither can we. We spend a lot of time devising ways to paint through whatever Mother Nature brings, whether itâ€™s jerry-rigged plastic tents or ice cube filled sombreros. This Norâ€™easter kept the kick flips out of the skate park for a few days but the Vans mural was finished on time, frozen fingers and all.
The first step of any project is always the most important and we keep that in front of our minds during pre-production. We spend hours in our shop isolating each piece of the artwork’s individual colors. After deciding the amount of colors needed, we hand mix each color by eye, utilizing years of industry experience. By focusing on brilliancy, opacity and color cohesiveness, we build the colors from scratch, one paint can at a time. Finding the perfect color match allows us to fulfill our initial promise to each client — a large scale mural that’s identical to the artwork provided.
Customized paint (drips)
Bumper most often used for bumping
225,000 sign painting miles
There’s a truck in that dent
The mean streets call for mean tires
Our first shop was in a Park Slope basement that also served a secondary purpose of being the building’s laundry room. We could also complain about its lack of a bathroom but we have moved on from that. Or rather, we claim we have.
Throughout the years, we have moved our shop multiple times to keep up with the ever growing needs of our company. Our current shop is over 8,000 sq ft on what was once a quiet industrial block in North Williamsburg. However, with the addition of the
Wythe Hotel and our friends at Kinfolk Studios, our block is now a major attraction for tourists and nightlife enthusiasts. The shop bursts at the seams with color, with our mad Pollock bucket splashes covering the floors. It is here where all the
planning and mixing and patterning take place. It is here where our painters return to after a long day on the rigs, swapping stories while gazing at the faded signs that fill our walls. Â Here is our second home.
▲ Our shop started life as a metal foundry.
▲ 200 feet of rigging
▲ the grand foyer
▲ 9 years of paint stains
creative floor plan ▼
▼ cheat sheet
Patterning describes the process that allows us to scale the artwork to the necessary size. With the aid of a projector in a dark room, the artwork is blown up and the contour lines are drawn onto strips of butcher paper. A pouncing machine then burns the lines through the paper, making it now ready to be brought to wall. By dusting the butcher paper with charcoal, the outline of the image is transferred proportionally directly onto the wall. Now all you have to do is perfectly paint a well-known celebrity’s face while suspended 10 stories above America’s busiest streets. Easy, right? When it comes to patterning, we feel like Johnny Cash said it best, “What’s done in the dark, will be brought to the light.”
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build your own balcony. lucky for us. live large. sweat shop with a view. locked and loaded. ability only gets you so far, determination gets you the rest of the way, although if you roll with us you’ll probably have pneumonia when you get there. the winter can kiss my ass. we about to get sprung. racing against the clock brushing roll. gates on the #bowery for the @artproductionny. the main ingredient. mind over machine. Mommy, can I be a sign painter when i grow up? yes jimmy, as long as you don’t mind freezing your ass painting in the snow all day. for the last 10 days this painting belonged to us, today we officially give it back. #vfstreetart #cool #skyhighmurals#1 #barrymcgee #alwayshandpaint salt of the earth. time is not lost, it’s found. #alwayshandpaint Beavis and butthead. brush bait. sideshow #selfies. looking better every day. variations of infinity. who are the people in your neighborhood. more mess than progress. chasing waterfalls. happiness squared. what happens in #vegas stays in vegas (except this photo). this is one of our lead riggers, his job is to run paint crews, he’s responsible for things like safety, efficiency and setting a good example for apprentices. the biggest waves in the ocean flow in the same direction. family heirloom. good work tomorrow starts with good work today. we’re looking for apprentices. If you live in Nyc and like riding roller coasters hit us up through our website. nice to see our newest apprentice is fitting in well with the team.
All content ÂŠ2013 Colossal Media. No part of this book may be reproduced without permission. All photography shot by Colossal Media except for: Group portrait by Angela Boatwright Studio truck picture by David Hans Cooke Barry McGee Night shot courtesy of Vanity Fair magazine Hand lettering byÂ Matt Wright Art direction by Triboro Front cover: Close up of HBO Girls mural in williamsburg. Back Cover: Detail of Rockaway Beach Boardwalk for the NYC Parks Department Hurricane Sandy relief project. Printed in Germany