Monday, April 28, 2008

meet the new graffiti artist whose stunning murals are transforming drab buildings

Most graffiti artists are condemned for painting on public buildings but one New Yorker is being paid thousands to put brush to brick.

And it isn't hard to see why. Artist Eric Grohe has produced spectacular murals on buildings across the U.S. transforming the grey, drab exteriors into vibrant, 3D scenes.

The 63-year-old has been hard at work on the walls of hospitals, factories, churches and office blocks in states including Ohio, Washington and Florida.

He uses special German paint called keim mineral paint which can last 130 years.

Each mural can take several months with Grohe enjoying every brush stroke. "Every project is a grand adventure, if passion for the work and inspiration are your guides," he said.

Grohe began his career as a illustrator and graphic designer for an architectural firm.

He transferred his skill for drawing buildings to painting on them with his wife, Kathy, helping him by managing the large mural projects.

He has learnt to work on a huge canvas - some of the murals he has painted reach 3,600ft.

His paintings have been well-received by the residents who live in the towns where he has left his mark.

One said of the building in the main square of Bucyrus, Ohio, which has been turned from a grey, soiled wall into a colourful scene of the town in the last century: "I used to look at this blank lot and this bleak wall and say 'no way.'

"If art is something that takes us back in time, this is a perfect example. You can almost walk into it." With Grohe's reputation fast growing, it might not be long until we see his work on buildings in our towns and cities.

He is currently getting requests for his artwork from all over the world.


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