Paul Walsh is the artist behind the painted utility boxes in the gallery above. He says the utility company that owns them asked him to paint them after seeing his painting of Grumpy Cat that adorned a local water tower.
Now Walsh, a web designer living in Auckland, New Zealand, gets to paint these utility boxes however he pleases. Since the utility company isn’t paying him for his work, he has complete freedom when it comes to the subject of his paintings, he tells HLN.
Walsh was putting the finishing touches on a geometric design when HLN spoke to him. He says each box takes him three to four hours to paint, “depending on the complexity of the design.” Walsh says he uses about 80% spray paint to create these works and finishes up using brushes and enamel paint.
The artist raised money for the supplies for this project using Pledge Me, a crowdfunding platform similar to Kickstarteror Indiegogo. Needless to say, he has the overwhelming support of his community on this project. “It’s great -- I’ve got the public support and funding and a private company giving me the go-ahead,” Walsh says.
He says the inspiration behind the paintings is popular Internet memes. “People see the Internet as too shallow to be worthy of artistic merit,” Walsh says. “It’s fun for me to take what the kids laugh at online and make it something more serious,” he adds.
With five boxes down, and 10 to 15 more to go, Walsh says he tries to balance this project with his full-time job and family, and he hopes to eventually turn it into more than just a hobby.