A Look Behind the Brooklyn Company That Creates Incredible Hand-Painted Photo-Realistic Billboards

In a colorful report for Art Insider, producer Abby Narishkin visited with the creative folks at Colossal Media at their highly decorated shop in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Colossal is known for incredible hand-painted, photo-realistic advertising murals that can be seen all over New York City.

Brooklyn-based Colossal Media creates these photo-realistic murals as ads for major brands like Google, Nike, and Coca-Cola. And they can cost up to $150,000. We got a look inside Colossal’s colorful workshop to see how painters bring these once bygone masterpieces to life.

Narishkin explained the history of painted signs, how it almost became a dying art and what a wall dog is.

The tough painters that hung from buildings through all kinds of weather were affectionately nicknamed wall dogs. Their heyday came in the 1920s when hand-painted ads for everything from Coca-Cola to cold medicines dotted the walls of New York City. By the mid-1900s, the industry started drying up.

In 2004, Colossal Media was formed to bring back this almost-lost art.

But a handful of niche artists quietly kept the craft alive. Until 2004, when best friends and street-sign artists Paul Lindahl and Adrian Moeller started Colossal Media. With a team of 31 artists, Colossal ushered in a mainstream comeback for hand-painted murals.