When Paul Archer looked up at his latest mural, the mural stared back at him.
The Victorian airbrush artist, known professionally as “Archer,” took his love for an imaginary family to a new level by painting a 16-foot mural of Wednesday Adams on the back of a downtown building. Height, he squinted and so on.
According to Archer, the feat was accomplished Jan. 13 with permission from the local chamber of commerce as a creative way to hide the graffiti across the parking lot at 850 Broughton St.
“Normally I just go out and repaint the gray because I’m trying to keep that area nice and clean. It’s in the back of my shop. So, I decided to do it on Wednesday instead of repainting the gray because today is Friday the 13th, I think it’s fitting,” he told CHEK News.
British Columbia’s rainy winters aren’t ideal for artists working outdoors, but the precipitation actually enhanced Archer’s final work this time around.
“When I started using it, it started raining on me, so it created a different texture on the face,” he says. “I finished it the next day, and it took me a full day in total.”
Known for his morbid disposition, pale skin and braided hair, Wednesday was a character on the 1964 sitcom addams familyblockbuster addams family and Addams Family Valuesboth released in the 90s, the most recent Netflix series Wednesdaywhich premieres in November 2022, starring Jenna Ortega.
Archer, the self-proclaimed “airbrush master,” decided to take a portrait of Ortega and use a lot of paint, expanding his already extensive range mural combination This started more than 40 years ago.
“I paint murals all over British Columbia, and once I find out what I really want to do, my heart burns. Then I find a wall,” he says.
“Normally, this time of year, I’m just painting canvases or interior pieces, or interior murals. But my real passion is doing big things outside. Was booked on things in Kootenays and Okanagan. I’ve done over 100 murals there over the past few years.”
In Victoria, passers-by might recognize another Archer work on the side of a building on the corner of Burnside Road and Wascana Street, where a There is a mural of girls and sunflowers about two stories high.
“It’s huge,” he exclaimed. “Right now, people are actually planting sunflowers and building a garden in front of it. As it grows, it works with the mural and brings the community together. This is really cool.”
The artist was no stranger to the spotlight, Archer recalled, especially when a mural he created on the mainland depicting a famous monarch went viral and appeared on “several news stations” last fall.
“When I was at Grand Forks, I made Queen Elizabeth II the day she died,” he said. “I saw graffiti tags all over the side of the courthouse, so I walked into town hall and said, ‘I want to paint the queen on the courthouse. If you’re interested, call this number. Ten minutes later, I got Telephone.”
Looking back on his career and past projects, Archer says he has “a lot of memorable projects” and over the years he has developed a passion for large-scale productions that impress not only the public but himself impressed.
“When you’re done, get off the swing table, step back about three blocks, and look at it, I can’t describe that feeling inside,” he said. “It’s just a sense of accomplishment.”
As for his latest Ortega mural, Archer said he hasn’t actually seen her new show, even though he’s “crazy” on the Addams family because the famous theme song is “Ring on My Phone,” he added with a laugh.
(Photo courtesy: Paul Archer/archermuralartist.com)
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