Otto Zitko Makes Me Want to Paint on the Walls

I first became smitten with Austrian painter Otto Zitko when I saw the extraordinary stairwell he was commissioned to paint with his wondrous scribble scrabble. I want to do that, I thought: paint on the wall with abandon, to see what might be made.

Michel Arnaud

I know that it takes serious mastery to produce Zitko’s liberating lines, as only he can do…

I’d still love to experience painting with a brush lashed to an extension pole, no matter the result, to follow where the line might take me…

But how, with no big canvasses to mess around on?

Then I began to mull an interesting solution to us fantasy artists. When I was going to paint my Harlem space, the walls were essentially blank canvasses, waiting for new paint. That is, they offered a chance to paint or draw whatever I wanted on them freely. Since the plan was to lightly sand and paint them, I’d have nothing to lose if whatever I painted wasn’t worth keeping. (I did paint some experiments on them, but hadn’t yet imagined the liberating possibiities for a paintbrush strapped to a pole).

Such an opportunity: to play with painting on walls, in advance of the house painters…

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