Die Strassenmaler (The Pavement Artists)

Die Strassenmaler is a Swiss-German (German language) documentary done a couple of years after the National Geographic. It shows some of the development of pavement art in those years. I created the work below, entitled “Reflections” was done for the documentary, and the artistic process is shown in the video.


The documentary also shows the lifestyle of the pavement artists while the art form was just starting to become popular and more respected. It was still very much a folk art in Italy. The costumed figures were a group of young people specialized in reconstructing the costumes of the great Gonzaga family that ruled Mantua as dukes for several centuries. The video also shows pastel making and other techniques that I was introducing to pavement art.




Magic Carpet

Some years ago I was asked to design a work for an Israeli telecommunications commercial that was to be shot in Santiago, Chile. After the work was complete, one of the executives insisted on a “more modern looking” city scene, … Continue reading

National Geographic Video

While still very young I was the featured artist in National Geographic’s documentary, Masterpieces In Chalk. The film won many awards and helped to resurrect and spread pavement art across the globe.


While working on the street painting for the film, I had to confront the nature of my own creativity. I wanted to demonstrate that I was capable of inventing original compositions on the spot, so I deliberately didn’t make any sketches for the piece I was to create. I had been accused many times by onlookers of copying Renaissance paintings, and the public often refused to believe that I created my own unique original compositions. Creating an original work of art is novel in the world of street painting, and it was important to me that the director Kevin Peer captured this in the documentary. My method of working at the time was entirely spontaneous, much to Kevin’s concern, as the director he was hoping to see some preliminary drawings. It was difficult for Kevin to accept this approach, as he would have no way to know if a spontaneous creation would end up being good enough for the film. I decided to paint the Muses, which as a theme lent itself to improvisation. The Muses also symbolize the idea that even though works of art are ephemeral, the inspiration behind them is immortal. Inspiration may be lost or forgotten, but it is eternally present whether or not we are able to perceive it. Whenever I create a work of art, I can feel inspiration come through me–it is what creates the ideas behind my work; I don’t generate the ideas themselves.