Totally amazing painter is totally amazing

...And what's amazing is the process. Joe Sabia shares this YouTube video featuring Chilean artist Fabian Gaete Maureira of arte100cia (Arte Sciencia, or "Art Science") that's making the internet rounds today. Via Reddit, here's the artist's blog, and his Flickr stream with finished works. Dude is like Bob Ross on crack. The one below looks like it could be a cover for a horse_ebook!


  1. I kept thinking the frame rate was sped up until the normal motion of people in the background.

    I’d love to see him do the Sistine Chapel… it might even take him all morning!

  2. What did I just watch?  It happened so fast that I couldn’t take in all of the awesomeness of what this person did.

  3. This is like Monotype printing, but without  printing the glass onto paper. Instead, he covers the final with another piece of glass.  

  4. I’d be more impressed if his paintings were actually good.  They’re horribly folk-arty, like the reproduction oil paintings you can buy from China (probably produced equally quickly, but less publicly).  These are made using exactly the same process as the street spraypaint artists that have been around for decades.

          1. Thanks, Wayne. Nothing was said about it being fine art. When I first saw the horses, I thought… blech. Then I looked at the video, which is nothing but impressive in terms of technique. Quality of art? Not so much.

      1. They see me daubin’.
        They hatin’.
        And tryin’.  To catch me paintin’ folksy.
        Tryin’ to catch me paintin’ folksy.
        Tryin’ to catch me paintin’ folksy.
        Tryin’ to catch me paintin’ folksy.
        Tryin’ to catch me paintin’ folksy.

    1. You probably kept typing, but all I read was “I totally knew about this when he used spraypaint and wasn’t on the Internet, and I didn’t even like it then.”

      1. I get the feeling that impressing you would be A. absurdly easy and B. also not worth the effort. :)

        1. Ah, here it is…the cutting-comment-accompanied-by-smiley-emoticon gambit:  Rhetorical crutch for people who can’t own their nastiness since 1982.

          1. It made me think he was a really clever hipster-troll elizabot for a second, cause it’s so consistently used, but there are comments that don’t fit. Was actually pretty disappointed.

    2. The responses to your comment force me to recognize that Boing Boing’s audience is made up primarily of sycophants. 

      This is art in the same way that McDonald’s is food. Unfortunately, we live in a society where culture is practically nonexistent outside of a handful of safe havens.

      1. As far as I can see, nobody is saying it is great art.  They’re saying the speed and technique are amazing to watch.  Is that okay with you, if we enjoy that?

        1. Actually, ChairmanLMOA refers to a quite specific set of comments which is distinct of the one you refer to.

      2. “This is art in the same way that McDonald’s is food.”
        Great line. Sprayed coffee all the keyboard. Thanks…

      3. A better analogy would be a short order cook.  Except that really fast short order cooks are fun to watch for exactly the same reason.

    3. Cool, you managed to hate on this street painter guy, us for liking him, folks in China who mass produce stuff, and “street spraypaint artists” all in one post. You’re like an internet troll on crack!

        1. Okay, Ruskin, we get it.  It’s crap, kitsch, and kitschy crap, and all that.  You’re edgy and discerning and a defender of Fine Art – we surrender.  Your cookie is in the mail.

          Fine art it ain’t, and I don’t see anyone suggesting it is.  But if we take “totally amazing” to mean “neat to watch, and impressive that it can be done at all,” then yes.    

          The speed with which he’s painting doesn’t exactly lend itself well to finely-rendered works – it’s hardly surprising that he’s not turning out miniature Brueghels.

      1. It’s ok though, classists hate it too, and that’s what is important. One must always protect the interests of the elite!

  5. This guy must have vegetation stamps on his fingers. It’s the only way he can just imprint them onto the glass so fast.

    Well, that or magic. Is he a wizard? 

    1. I was thinking he must have prepped a palette with the color and pattern needed for the trees so he can just pick some up on his finger and stamp it on.
      Not to take away from the awesomeness of the act.

      1. Ah, that might be.  I was picturing Michael’s stamp to be like a rubber stamp attached to the finger, but what you’re describing could totally work, having the stamp or pattern on the palette and just using the finger to transfer.

        I can’t even see how he manages to wipe his finger off between colors he’s moving so fast.

  6. Color me impressed.

    re: “Dude is like Bob Ross on crack.”

    I thought the EXACT same thing before I read the rest of the post.

    1. But, I thought Bob Ross WAS on crack.  He and Richard Pryor were like soul mates.  Bob was the one that first told Richard about non-petroleum based hair care products.***

      **Or so the legend goes . . .

      1. Bob Ross was always so calm and soothing that I assumed he was a fan of either weed or qualudes.

  7. It takes him longer to clean up the edges for presentation than to paint the trees.

  8. If you feel the need to pass judgement on the merit of his work*, consider using the standard of the elephant walking on two legs.  It may not be done well but it’s amazing to see it done at all.


    1. An elephant walking on two legs is AMAZING?  A dude doing folk-art on the street is AMAZING?  Fine.  He is as talented and entertaining as a scrapbooking convention overdosing on coffee.

  9. Ugh.  Olds d’sputin merits of Mr. Brainwash-esque.  Fake, for your benefit.   Gdads didn’t understand tv.  Parents don.. underst.. inte…stop proslytzn ur work-spam macrodad1111111111:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::tldr

  10. It is interesting to see how fast he can imagine as well as paint. Does he make up outlines of the scenes beforehand, unavoidably dreaming vignettes?

    1. They’re all done to a formula.  Check out photos of his work – they are pretty much all made according to just a few patterns, e.g.  Trees left and right, lake in the middle, one bird in the sky. :p

        1.  I have a feeling this somebody is grumpy every day… But I’m thoroughly enjoying the over-the-top snobbery, so I say keep it coming Len!

      1. Then he paints a different picture a hundred times.  Then a different picture a hundred times.  etc.  Considering he does about one per minute, counting breaks and whatnot perhaps 500 a day?  Each one a LITTLE different.  Just think of the story you could tell at your cubicle or in your den when someone looks at it, about that one day in Chile where this street artist made this painting.  You will tell them about how fast he did it, smearing paint, whacking it with his fingers, a smear there, a smudge the other way.  You’ll probably remember if it was sunny or cloudy, what the square where he was doing this was like – were there other people watching too?  Some strange woman with short white hair – probably some internet person.  Now multiply that by several hundred – and this happens every day, so multiply it by several hundred again.  The memento of this guy’s performance is told and re-told and becomes part of thousands upon thousands of people’s lives around the world for years and years.  That’s what makes it cool.  That’s what makes it art.

  11. I wonder what would happen if he had all day to make a painting.  Or if he has some paintings that he has put more than showmanship into but he doesn’t do on the street.  Because those are awesome for what they are, but he clearly has some talent and I’d be interested to see what would happen if he had a few months, unlimited supplies and a studio.

    1. After doing the same things over and over again, he would probably still be making crap, but highly skilled technical crap.

  12. While the technical skill demonstrated here is incredible, I must agree with other comments that the artistic merit is lacking.  The value of this is in the performance itself.  If you were not present for it, what meaning is left in the painting?  Unless the painting is placed on display next to an endless loop of the movie on a digital picture frame or something, the main value of the piece is lost once it’s taken home and hung on a wall.

  13. Yea, yea… I’ve seen these before, it’s just trick painting… HOLY EFFING SPEED!!!!!!!!

    And yea they are not high art, and yea they are kitch… but I liked the paintings! I think they are pretty in themselves. And I would guess most things we hang on our walls are there because they are pretty or has some other personal value to us, not for their pure artistic values.

  14. Way too much asshats in the comments section today.

    Try to do better paintings in the same time that guys does.

    1. Not better.  Just different. :)

      But not mass-produced folk art, either. :p

      1. I’m amazed you still don’t get it. Since we both seem to be overly involved with this inane discussion, how about this way of putting it:

        Critiquing the quality of art being produced here is like saying the tea served by “the tea pouring wizard” probably sucks.

        Get it? Its probably true, but is entirely beside the point.

        1. If it DID suck, you can be sure people would say so. :) “Wow, he puts on a show, but jeez does this tea suck.” XD

          I haven’t tried the tea, but I have seen the paintings. :p

      2. I see that you are laboring under the delusion that there is “good” art and “bad art”, when in reality there is only MEANINGFUL art and NON-MEANINGFUL art. Art has a value assigned by human beings. If I find a work meaningful and stimulating, then that work has generated personal value for me – making it art. Your work, for example, while somewhat lovely, generates no meaningful value for me. The speed-painter here, through his work and his performance of his process, has made my morning more enjoyable…his technique has put his art in context and made it meaningful to me. Enjoy your snobbery – the rest of us will be enjoying art.

        1. I see you are labouring under the delusion that I think you’re not entitled to decide what you do, or don’t, consider “art”. You may philosophise and critique all you wish. Kindly extend the same courtesy to me. :p

      3. Christ, what an asshole!

        Edit – Oh, sorry, I see by your cock and balls that’s supposed to be the front of the nude. The messed-up perspective and screwed-up, inverted joints had me fooled.

    2. Yes, it’s truly asshattery to view something marked with “omg, amazing” with criticism

      Look, the picture is nothing special. Boring, uninteresting. The performance is quite cool, though.

      When looking at a PAINTING I’m still more impressed with better paintings, and don’t really care whether they were done in a minute or a month. The value here is ALL in the performance.
      “Try to do better paintings in the same time that guys does.” Time has nothing to do with the value or quality of the painting itself. It does affect the impressiveness of the performance, but as has been mentioned, if it results in a painting that is really worth little without the performance then it is completely fair to criticize the results.

    1. Sophomoric, intellectually sterile.  “Low” art.

      The problem with being avant-garde is knowing who is putting on who.

  15. Not mass-produced folk art, leonard…but pretty much typical of any speed-drawn figure study I’ve ever seen in a college art class.

    I really have no idea what you’re trying to prove, and why you’re spending so much time and energy on trying to prove it.

    No one gets to legislate art.  Your opinion is now known. 

    Now wouldn’t it be better if you spent your time and energy creating your own beauty instead of using it to crap all over someone else’s?

    1. It’s really just the principle of the thing. I comment that the process should be considered in terms of the product created, and a large number of Philistines decide that THIS “art” is beyond critique. :p

      1. I’m surprised that you’re so surprised that your critique is not beyond critique.

        Just because people think you are wrong, it doesn’t make them Philistines.  Have a good day.

      2. Your overuse of emoticons is obnoxious, especially considering they almost always follow a highly condescending sentence.

  16. Considering some of the pretentious, art snob in-joke carp that passes for fine art, I’ll take this guy’s work any day of the week.

  17. I just hope he is using paints that are relatively safe since they’re totally soaking into his skin there and probably finding their way into his mouth and nose.

  18.  I think “artistic merit” is mostly just a snobby way to assert one’s tastes are superior to another’s. There are pieces of so-called “fine” art that are indeed stunning, beautiful, original, influential – but most of what’s produced has no intrinsic merit over black velvet paintings and garden gnomes.

    Art is what we decorate our lives with, and everything can be art. So what if it’s common, or cheaply and quickly made?

    1.   I don’t think you can have it both ways – either you’re “snobby” or art has no intrinsic merit.  If “most of what’s produced” has no worth then you are actually being incredibly “snobby”.  Much easier to actually ascribe relative worth to things.  I bet you’d take an ipod over an ashtray.  Why?  Neither has any “intrinsic worth”.  In this way it’s easy to see this position is actually reverse elitism,  based on the idea that only currency matters, since nothing matters.

      1. Neither an ipod nor an ashtray are considered fine art.  Though I bet you would take a rare ashtray made by a ceramicist who is highly regarded and that has provenance because it was owned by some one terribly important and therefore carries a market value of several thousand dollars should you choose to sell it and the potential to appreciate, over an iPod that will likely be worth less than $20 in two years. In this way it is easy to see that nothing in the world of aesthetics is simple, and that the idea of “worth” is pretty much determined by culture.

        1. Hey, I’m not sure what you are saying, or how it relates to the post I was responding to.  Certainly aesthetics is not simple, and worth is determined through culture, but that doesn’t mean there is no truth value in culture.  It sounds like you agree with me.

    2. Oh my god somebody is wrong on the internet! Art is NOT “what we decorate our lives”, art should be much more than a mere decoration. I will not be so arrogant to try define Art as we know it, because this term is, even in modern philosophy, very foggy and there are numerous definitions, but art should challenge us intellectually and not every object is creation of artist. And if art is only subjective, how do you explain that numerous educated people agree on quality certain pieces? Taste do not  show how we like certain style, taste manifest our ability to understand and grasp certin style.

  19. There were a handful of people doing the same sort of art on the Santa Monica Pier the last time I was there, although their work featured palm trees, crashing surf, the pier, ferris wheel, and roller coaster instead of pine trees, bushes, mountains, and waterfalls. Same exact birds though, except in white (seagulls?).
    The method was the same — finger paint on glass, wipe the edges, apply glass cover. Almost got a business card sized one for $3 before I realized how tacky it was.

  20. Whatever the supposed quality of the art, this is fun to watch being made.  Watching others paint is — to coin a phrase — about as exciting as watching paint dry.

  21. It kind of reminds me of someone solving a rubiks cube – for a while you don’t really know what’s happening until the painting starts to take some shape. Similarly to the rubiks cube, you just need to master some fairly simple techniques, but it seems like magic when you watch someone making what looks like random actions that turn into a meaningful form.

  22. Here’s my nuanced view on this art.  I would buy it from him directly if I was there when it was painted but I would not buy it from a gallery.  Part of his art is the performance of its production.  If you get that performance with it, it’s art.  If you don’t, it’s craft.

  23. A guy at our hotel in Mazatlan years ago did pictures like this, though not quite this fast. I bought 3, for two reasons: 1) they make excellent souvenirs because they remind me so strongly of the atmosphere of the place, and 2) I genuinely think they’re pretty. I’m sure nobody would hang them in an art museum, but that doesn’t mean they’re not art.

  24. The short attention span of the internet strikes again. Do not confuse the speed with which he works with the paintings having any qualities that extend beyond the mediocre.  If you think these are great, invest in Thomas Kincaid, coming to The Metropoloitan in 2087 for his one man show.

  25. It might have been impressive if the result was actually something good, but this? Not so much. Anyone can produce mediocre work.
    You need to get out more if you consider this “amazing”.

  26. Is this a Latin American tradition? I saw a very similar (in process, speed and street-location) painter in Oaxaca maybe 10 years ago. But his stuff was mostly pyschadelic.

  27. I saw someone doing this in Santa Cruz over the summer. It seemed to be a new take on the whole spraypaint speed painting thing.

    The guy I saw I suspect had some formal training- he did have a few portraits that weren’t half bad, but I didn’t get to see him do those, I suspect they took longer.

    I wonder how these things get propagated. Do they have a forum somewhere? Is there a big busker convention with busking panels where people can learn the latest in street performance art?

    Actually, that would be cool. I’d totally go to that.

  28. I’ve been painting in oils, acrylics, watercolor, ink washes etc. for years, but I started when I was 10 years old to Boss Ross specials on PBS. It was my first introduction to creating something resembling art. The brushes and techniques used to create trees and mountains and lakes/water is astonishingly easy depending on the brush used. I also used my fingers to blend. It’s incredibly fun, setting aside the actual artistic quality of this type of painting… after 15 years and 4 of that at RISD, nothing I do professionally now is anything like those childhood paintings, but the excitement of that first garish little painting of happy little bushes is still with me. 
    For the parents out there, I highly suggest you try this with your 8-10 year old, despite what you think about the art itself (they sell full kits in craft stores). I tried it as a teenager with my younger brother who was 9 at the time, and after an hour step-by-step he created something exactly like this (albeit the speed), and squealed with delight. If you watch his process, all the elements he paints are very forgiving and rely on the randomness of the stroke to make it believable, so encouraging a child to do this is actually quite successful. It’s a great way to introduce that something can be created without “coloring within the lines” and trying to draw frustrating, complex shapes at an early age. With supervision, oils blend much nicer than finger paints too, and dry in much longer periods…

  29. As an artist, I find myself wondering what medium he’s using. I’m guessing acrylics. I’m also noticing there appears to be a divider between the glass — of course. Oils would take WAY to long to dry like that, but not acrylics. Possibly also inks.

    as to  quality? so what! folk art is just as important historically as fine art as graphic art as religious art … i’m betting he makes a perfectly decent living off it. how many fine artists can say that? ;)

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