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nomadawhat

Kurt Wenner - street painter

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So dope. Arrgh, I can't remember the name for that type of painting. Tromp d'???? Help me out guys. I want him to come to my town, that is incredible.

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http://www.augustachronicle.com/images/headlines/043098/street_painting.jpg'>

 

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The 15 Most Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q: Did you paint this?

 

A: Yes.

 

Q: What happens when it rains?

 

A: Rain is a great enemy of street painters. Drops of rain will stain a picture, and there are no foolproof means of protection. Tenting the picture and/or covering it with plastic helps, yet water will seep under just about everything if the rain lasts long enough. In Europe it rains quite frequently and a street painter may have to work through two or three storms, constantly retouching the picture.

 

Q: How long does it take?

 

A: I paint somewhere between two and six square yards a day. The complexity of the design and the quality of the pavement determine how much I am able to accomplish.

 

Q: Are you disappointed when it washes away?

 

A: I am always aware of the impermanence of street painting. Wind, sun, dirt, and rain constantly remind me as I work of the very fleeting nature of this type of painting. All day long, as I'm creating a new part of the picture, I can see the finished parts already fading. It's a challenge to retouch the picture and keep it fresh for spectators. I'm not disappointed when the painting washes away because street painting is performance art, it's very much like attending a symphony. When the music ends everyone leaves with a memory of the music. My work is the same except one is left with a visual impression. And much like musical recording helps preserve a moment, I photograph my paintings when they're finished.

 

Q: How long will the painting last if it isn't destroyed?

 

A: It is difficult to pinpoint exactly when the picture is “gone.” In Switzerland, where the climate is very harsh, I've returned to old street painting sites after a year and still seen the pictures. They are of course very faded, yet legible. Climate, cars, bicycles, and pedestrians are all factors which determine a painting survival time. They can last anywhere form a couple of days to more than a year.

 

Q: Can you spray something on the picture to “fix” it, keep it from washing or fading away?

 

A: The permanence of many work of art depends more on its environment, support, and the quality of materials used in creating the work than on a protective varnish. Anything sprayed on chalk will immediately change the surface, causing whites to turn gray for example, and only slightly increases the durability of the work.

 

Q: Is it permitted to do this everywhere?

 

A: The occupation of public space is covered by municipal codes around the world, which of course change from location to location. There aren't too many places I've ever heard of where street painting is forbidden, although Zurich, Switzerland is one of them. Therefore, most street painters select a spot they are happy with and begin working. It usually doesn't take too long for a uniformed peace officer to show up and inform a painter if they need a permit, or must move on to a town that permits their work. Street painters must assume it is permitted to paint until they are told otherwise.

 

Q: Can you make a living doing this?

 

A: Ten years ago I stopped painting on the street for money, and began accepting a limited number of festivals and events each year where I'm invited to paint. Most of my time is spent on oil painting commissions and consulting. As with any occupation, you generally only find people engaged in the work because it supports them. And like any other trade there are different degrees of success. Some painters live hand-to-mouth and others enjoy it as a lucrative profession. Success is very dependent on the sheer number of people who pass by a work, their reaction to a particular image, and the artistry of the painter.

 

Q: How many people make their living as street painters?

 

A: There are probably two to five hundred street painters at any one time who depend on it as their primary source of income. There are many more seasonal painters, those who only work in the summer months.

 

Q: How did you learn to do this?

 

A: I began by attending art school for a couple of years where I worked on my drawing skills and knowledge of perspective. After art school I worked for NASA, which I eventually left in order to go to Italy and study directly from the master works. For six months I spent eight hours a day drawing and learning from paintings and sculpture. One day, I saw a street painting and asked the artist what he was doing. He explained the tradition of street painting in Europe to me, and after viewing my museum drawings and asked if I'd like to paint the head of an angel while he went to lunch. Working with the chalks came very naturally, and from that point on I've been street painting.

 

Q: What kind of chalks are you using?

 

A: My “chalks” are actually handmade pastels which are stronger and more permanent than commercial products. When I first started street painting I used commercial chalks and pastels. I soon found the chalks to be too dusty and constantly blowing away on the street. The pastels were more permanent, but very costly as I would use a couple hundred sticks per picture. It didn't take long before I began experimenting and making my own pastels with pure pigments and binder.

 

Q: Why are you able to walk on your painting and not damage it?

 

A: Most of the painting's color is in the pores of the pavement and not on the surface. Although I try to walk on the picture as little as possible, sometimes I must in order to retouch a spot, or remove debris that has blown onto it.

 

Q: Do you make a drawing of what you are going to paint?

 

A: When I first started street painting I seldom made drawings of what I would paint. Now that I paint for special events and festivals I like to work on the composition and geometry prior to arriving at my painting site.

 

Q: How can you see what you are doing?

 

A: Unlike other projects where it's possible to stand back and view an entire work, street painting and large scale mural painting are unique in the sense that one must imagine the whole painting while working on a detail of it. It takes special training and experience to work in such a format.

 

Q: Do street painters ever create permanent work?

 

A: Many street painters create permanent works of art in a variety of mediums. Street painting can be an ideal way to test ideas and public reaction before committing to the time and cost of creating a permanent work.

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"Q: Is it permitted to do this everywhere?

 

A: The occupation of public space is covered by municipal codes around the world, which of course change from location to location. There aren't too many places I've ever heard of where street painting is forbidden, although Zurich, Switzerland is one of them. Therefore, most street painters select a spot they are happy with and begin working. It usually doesn't take too long for a uniformed peace officer to show up and inform a painter if they need a permit, or must move on to a town that permits their work. Street painters must assume it is permitted to paint until they are told otherwise."

 

 

Haha, the uniformed peace officer would hardly ever do that with 'our kind'.

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that fisheye lens is giving those pieces alot more depth of feel then they already have.... never the less it's still a very dope post and very good approach to street art.

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