Painting a True Fresco at the Tower@801 in Seattle, WA.

The commission.

The fresco painting was executed in the lobby of the Tower@801 in the month of April 2001.

Interior decorator Linda Brien, of Bravo Interiors, contacted me inquiring about the true fresco technique.

She said that she found my name on the yellow pages and that she was interested in having a true fresco painting in the Lobby of the building, and that judging from what she saw on my web site, she was really impressed.

After several meetings held in the lobby of the Tower, one of the sketches that I had made for the project was approved. I was commissioned to paint a true fresco on the South wall of the Tower Lobby.

As the artist, I was asked to do the following:

A contemporary style True Fresco Painting executed with the original ancient fresco techniques that I had imported from Europe.

The subject requested to be painted was an imaginary representation of the tower with the city around it, including with cars and streets. The cityscape was to specifically include multiple monorails, to symbolize the desire for a progressive public transportation system in the form of an expanded monorail system. 

I was also asked to include Safeco Field, which had just been completed (Qwest field was not yet there). The fresco was also to celebrate The Boeing Company in the form of airplanes as part of Seattle’s legacy as a city business and prosperity.  On the right side of the painting was the newly completed overpass near Pike street, and the red windows of “Café Ladro” a very nice meeting place located on the ground floor of the Tower.

I was asked to complete my fresco in only 30 days. That is a very short time for the completion of a fresco of that size. The budget was also quite low, but after some thought I decided to accept the job. I was very interested at the prospect of painting a contemporary fresco in such a public place where many would have the opportunity to enjoy it.

I am happy that I accepted.

I was teaching Fresco painting classes at the time, and I always made an effort to explain and show to my students that fresco painting doesn’t just mean Michelangelo’s work. It is a wonderful technique that has much to offer to a modern artist as well.

The fresco that I painted at the Tower is the first large contemporary fresco painting of the new century (and the new millennium), on the west coast of the United States. I am proud to say that before 1997, Fresco painting in the United States was considered mostly a lost art, or one that only applied to classical subjects. Through my years of work both in Washington and Arizona I was able to import the modern fresco painting from Italy, and their popularity has been growing year after year.