Art in 3-D: opening party for the new Fab-5 mural at DCI headquarters in Kent. The art work extends through two floors and into the backrooms.
Fab-5 is taking graffiti art to new heights and kicking off 2013 on a high note: team artists Kenji Stoll, Chris Jordan, Troy Long and Travis Galindo recently completed a $90,000 art commission at the Kent, WA, headquarters of global electronics company, Digital Control Incorporated (DCI). They’ve created a multi-dimensional, two-story indoor mural that wraps around corners and hovers colorfully over workstations. It’s a work that’s sure to redefine “graffiti” and catapult it to a new level – one that integrates spontaneous, free-form painting with elegantly designed work space.
Located in the neighborhood of the Boeing Co., DCI headquarters is about as big as an airplane hangar, and it provided Fab-5 with an unimaginably exciting palette. The warehouse is a model of swank industrial design with large central spaces where there are no cubicles – instead, banks of large, lush plants and crystal-clear window dividers section off work areas. Because the company specializes in electronics, the place is immaculate – but in the most appealing way. Dogs are allowed visiting privileges, there is a pingpong table on the mezzanine, and for focused quiet time, there is a submarine-size tropical aquarium that is filtered from beneath by small, living mangrove trees. The company is a leading designer of drilling guidance systems with offices in Germany, China, India, Australia, and Russia.
Spaceworks alums Chris Jordan and Kenji Stoll at the dedication of the Fab-5 mural.
The challenge for Fab-5 was to create a visual environment that dozens of engineers and designers would all be amenable to working in (plastered in graffiti?), and that would complement the space’s clean architectural style. Oh, and a deadline of two months – that alone would keep the Five in respirator masks and working around the clock last summer.
The result of their efforts: an immersive environment that is over the top, and hard to describe. On the walls, cumulous clouds of color give birth to silhouettes of gadgets related to drilling guidance systems; Jordan and Stoll, the team’s liaisons, spent hours interviewing the engineers about their work and its components, and recorded motifs that would be catalysts for thought. Color and design merge to create a dynamism that keeps the eye moving from floor to ceiling and around corners. They didn’t hold back; as Jordan pointed out, going for generic graffiti effects would have doomed the work to the pleasantly dull realm of chain restaurant art. At the mural dedication, visitors were plainly awed by the work. Most importantly, the clients, founders Peter Hambling, and John and June Mercer, were elated.
We caught up with Kenji Stoll to ask him how the commission was executed, and how the four artists in Fab-5 managed to keep the collaboration rolling smoothly. Continue reading