Dec. 13, 2017 By Nathaly Pesantez
The show-stopping mural on the corner of Greenpoint and Manhattan Avenues is the subject of a short film, where the artist and building owner discuss the days-long painting process and the inspiration behind it dating back years ago.
The video, at just over three-and-a-half minutes, shows the wall on the Greenpoint Avenue side of 903 Manhattan Ave. gradually fill with an array of colors as Ola Kalnins, a Swedish artist, and Peter Kirchhausen, the building’s owner, talk about the project completed late October.
Kirchhausen and Kalnins both recall meeting about three years ago, when Kirchhausen was driving from Greenpoint to Sunnyside but immediately pulled over after watching Kalnins paint along the street.
“I have a building in the neighborhood, “ Kirchhausen said to Kalnins. “I would love to sit down and have a cup of coffee and talk about some kind of project that we can partake in.”
“It was obvious that he was setting his eyes on something bigger than I was thinking,” Kirchhausen added.
The two eventually set a date for a mural to be painted along the four-story building, which took eight days to finish with the aid of a movable lift.
“It didn’t feel like a typical wall,” Kalnins said. “Its not that common that people decide to do a mural on their whole front facade.”
The mural was one of Kalnins most physically difficult to complete in his lineup of large-scale murals.
“This piece couldn’t have been done somewhere else,” Kalnins said.
The project was funded by the Consulate General of Sweden, who also helped hold a program, “Swedish Design Moves NY”, back in October, which included conversations on art with Kalnins.
Watch the full film here: