700 delaware by HENSE
last year HENSE was commissioned to transform an abandoned church into art installation.
the building is located directly across the street from a planned 20,000sqft museum
that will house the rubell’s collection of art and a newly planned hotel.
the artist explained the project in more detail to designboom…
‘the project in washington DC was a fun one and I worked with a small crew to complete it.
the area where the chruch is located in washington is a part of town that has huge potential
to be the next arts district and this project is the first step in bringing some life and color
into the area. taking an existing building like the church and painting the entire thing
re-contextualizes it and makes it a sculptural object. we really wanted to turn the church
into a three-demential piece of artwork. with projects like this one, we really try to use
the existing architecture as inspiration for the direction of the painting.’
‘I did several concept drawings for the church to present to the owner as rough ideas
of aesthetic direction and knew that visually, I wanted it to be drastically different from
what it looked like before painting it. I also wanted to use very bright and bold colors
to catch a viewers attention from far away. most of my works are done in layers and
I’m never afraid to change the image. the first step was to just get paint and color on
every side and surface of the building. we then started developing large shapes and
gestures that would takes days to paint. the entire process took several weeks of
layering and working.’
‘most of the tools I use in my murals and paintings are the same tools I learned to use
by working in the street in the early years. I use rollers, brushes, spray paint, inks, acrylics,
mops, enamels, paint sprayers and other various mediums and tools. scale has always
been an important component in my work and I’ve continued to try to push that with
my newer projects. almost everything I work on is completely spontaneous and I rarely
use a preconceived sketch or concept. recently I’ve been experimenting in treating
my exterior works similarly to my paintings.’
‘I received mostly positive reactions from people there in washington DC who came
to see the progress in person. there were a few people who thought of it as desecrating
on the church. although once it was explained that it was a work in progress and had
positive thought behind the gestures, colors and marks, they generally understood.
the nature of creating public art is that you are dealing with many different feelings
and opinions on art and that can be very subjective. ‘