Throughout 2020, Discover Albany is highlighting Artful Albany by showcasing the many ways art is featured throughout the community in restaurants, meeting spaces, historic sites, rural areas, craft beverage facilities and more.
"Meet The Murals" is a Q&A feature in our 2020 Discover Albany Visitors Guide highlighting several of the #CapitalWalls artists. Brooklyn-based artist Hellbent (@hellbent_) completed "Mix Tape" on the southside of the Quackenbush Garage in 2017.
Q: What inspired your mural?
A: A lot of the elements within the mural were inspired by Albany and its history. For example, the blue-on-blue floral pattern is a nod to Dutch porcelain and there is a color way that is a reference to New York’s state flag. While I was painting, I really enjoyed walking around and checking out the architecture of the city. There are some great Art Deco buildings downtown and one of my patterns is a deco design.
Q. We all see the finished product, but how much planning goes into a mural?
A: A lot of planning goes into the execution of a mural, especially one of the size I did in Albany. Doing a seven-story building – you can’t just wing it, you've got to have a plan. But always, things pop up and you have to adapt on the fly. You figure out the paint and stuff, but for my work the scale is key. I want the patterns to be in proportion to the size of building I’m working on.
Q: Why did you get involved with the #CapitalWalls project and what have you gotten out of it?
A: Well, Tony at Albany Center Gallery had asked me, as he had seen my work before and as he explained the project, it sounded good. And as I got into town and Tony drove me around and showed me some murals in town and upcoming projects that were coming, I was really glad to be involved. I always think the best thing of painting in other towns is the people you meet along the way. We got a ton of encouragement and positive vibes from the city as we were painting and that means a lot. People being excited about what you are doing is great.