221 McDermot Avenue
Marco Scarpato's all-aerosol Mural for Mural Fest 2K7. The Mural was removed from the building in 2015. Original notes follow:
In March of 2007, Marco Scarpato submitted the following synopsis in
support of his
"Mental Distortion" semi-finalist stage submission to the Mural Fest 2K7
"A person's life can be seen as a journey- a journey along which new places and new
encounters have a big influence on ones personality. Sometimes there are obstacles that can
be overcome; sometimes the road is blocked and you are forced to change direction. But
every new step that you take, in whatever direction, leaves a mark on your body and shapes
"I would like to show the public a brief insight in my own journey of life that I covered until
now, and the "marks" that it left on my body. Especially the moments in which I felt trapped
and did not know which way to go- these are the moments when I learn the most.
It's from this emotion that my new design started to take form."
"The design depicts myself as a person standing in front of an invisible blockade. I'm
experiencing the pressure of the blockade and this is evoking a feeling of brief despair on my
face, but at the same time I'm already acknowledging the fact that I can't go on and that I
have to change direction. In the design my body is covered with tattoos, which refer to
different influences in my life: my mother, my graffiti crew, my hometown, and so on. These
marks have influenced the different directions that I took during my journey until this
moment. This searching for the right way and the constant changing of direction is also
reflected in the blurry image in the background. These blurry shapes can be seen as outlines of
a tattoo, which at the same time is a reference for the big network of roads which is shaping
my life/ my journey."
During Mural Fest he provided me with these additional comments (please note that
English is a second language for Marco):
Marco Scarpato: "A friend of mine from Florida (Chris, aka Center1) told me there
was a big Mural Fest and that I should enter. I was very interested of course. I decided to
enter and I sent in my first design which was about capitalism. It was very anti-capitalist.
They had asked us to make something that affects us. I was thinking about this and I was
thinking that if you go to the source, it's the multinationals. They are the big players who
control everything- the people, the government- they are like the puppet players. I made a big
image of a globe, and a hand in a nice suit going on top of the earth. There are chess pawns
like in the game, and the earth is like the chess board. It's all a strategic game. Multinational
companies use very strategic marketing game. Underneath the surface of the earth there were
logos of different multinational companies like IBM, McDonald's, Nike and whatever."
"I got a telephone call from Steve (Wilson, Executive Director, Graffiti Arts Programming).
He told be that it would be very difficult to make this Mural here because there would
probably, which I understand, be a lot of problems with these companies. So they asked me
to make another design, and I had to finish it in two weeks. I was very stressed, but I said for
sure I would do it because I really wanted to come. I have never come to Canada, this is my
first time. So I started to think. I was thinking about an image of myself on top of a conveyer
belt, like at a supermarket. The woman's hand wanted to take me and scan me. I am a
product of society. I made this, and I didn't really like the image. I was so focused on the
"I was very frustrated. And then I thought 'why don't I work with the feeling I have'. So I
started to think about it. The feeling is common to everybody: you want to do something but
you're blocked. This is how this image came to life, to express this. The main focus was to
express the feeling I have at that moment. But as soon as I was thinking and starting to make
the picture, I started to realize that everybody could relate to this feeling of wanting to do
something and it doesn't go."
Marco On the Tattoos: "Earlier I suggested that The blurry shapes can be seen as a tattoo, and
at the same time is a reference to the network of roads that is shaping my life. On my Mural it
is actually a blow-up of my one personal tattoo on my body in real life (i.e., the lowest tattoo
in the image). I changed the orientation and it's a blow-up of that one. The one above it is
representative of my parents and my early life; and is the main reason I am who I am. I grew
up in a mining community, very multicultural. This is a coal mine lift that the people get
taken down into the mine, and it's the first thing I see when I return to my village..
Collectively, these 6 tattoos represent the most significant things in my life. Above it on my
right forearm is 'RESM1', which is my artist side of my personality, my alter ego, the artist in
me. I feel that I am two persons. On my right chest is the PETADOS Crew, a group I am
very proud to be a part of. I met them when I was living in Barcelona 3 years ago. I was
never part of a crew in Belgium, Holland or Germany because I didn't like any of their
attitudes. But when I met these guys it was very different, like brotherhood and family. They
are close to my heart. My Mother is on the left chest, closest to my heart. In the image the
pectoral is pushed up but she would be closest to my heart. She is my biggest influence. On
my neck is a weight, which stands for health and keeping fit. On my left forearm is 'Helder'
my girlfriend of 8 years. She changed me completely. I was very different before I met her
and I hate who I was before I met her- I was very negative and had no Flemish Belgians
friends. She helped me with that a great deal and she changed all that. She made me turn it
"When I was very young I had to struggle a lot. My parents immigrated to Belgium from
Italy and we had a very tough life in the beginning. This is also a reflection of this work. I
saw that it was a reflection of my life in the beginning. When I finish this Mural it'll be like
the end of an era, too; and then I can be evolving in my better life. The bad part is over- I've
proved my capabilities, proved my talent and I can go to a better life. The painting is like a
cure. All the things that happened to me from early to now. When I'm finished I'll know that
that part is behind, and I made it- I'm OK."
"Painting has been a little tough because of the weather (hot). Normally I would use 4 or 5
flesh tones and two additional black and white transparents to make a real flesh colour. Flesh
is not one colour but a lot of colours. Here I'm working with one flesh tone and a yellow and
the transparent black and white. If I had those extra colours the painting would look much
more real. The weather had been tough, but if I start early at 6 am and work till 10 am and
then again 6 pm to 10, it's OK."
"I was planning to do this Mural with an airbrush. But with the airbrushes provided, I would
have needed a big compressor and a big generator and it would have been very expensive. I
then asked if I could do it with spray paint. (Marco did lots of tests on the vinyl- see photo 3-
to make sure it would work, and found that it worked fine if the vinyl surface was given two
coats of primer). I called my good friend in Belgium (Danny Casu, aka CASROC) to
put an order of Montana Gold together for me and he got it here in two business days, on a
hazardous goods flight)."
"Montana Gold is run by painters and is made by painters. Montana Gold is the best of the
best that's on the market in spray cans. It's almost an airbrush in a can. You can make
extremely thick and extremely thin lines.
I use two types of caps, skinny and fat. The good thing about these cans it that it's a two
valve system so you can make a really thin line or thick line with the same can, even with a
fat cap. There's a very wide range of colours. For example there are 11 shades of green.
They work in extreme heat and extreme cold. They don't stall. The tube inside goes to the
sides, not to the middle, so you can completely use all the paint. You can go farther and do
more with it. You can do more details, realistic portraits; you have no limits anymore.
I was pleased to be able to do this and show everybody what is possible with spray paint."
"Mural Fest was an extremely good experience. I had very strong positive emotional
experiences this month. I got to know a lot of different people that I will probably be friends
with for life. I got to do what I designed myself without restrictions. That is always great as
an artist that you can do what you want and have total freedom. The location was incredible.
I met all kinds of Nationalities- I never knew much about Filipino people and now I've met
Bert (Montenaro) and learned a lot about the Philippines society. I met Bill from the Bates
Building, he's Chinese and he told me a lot about China. That's the reason I do this and I
meet great people through my art. I only have fond feelings about this Mural Fest; and I'm
super glad that I came."
About Marco Scarpato:
Marco Scarpato is a Belgian artist with Italian roots who currently lives in Maasmechelen,
Belgium. As an artist his roots lay with graffiti. He got 'infected' by the graffiti virus in 1994
and never stopped painting. Under his first artist name or 'tag', ZEEC, he started to make
graffiti works that were influenced by traditional two-dimensional (wild)-styles and
characters. Over the years, Marco underwent developments both in name and style. Under his
new name, RESMONE, he began to experiment with more challenging elements such as 3D
styles and photorealistic. He also gained a vast treasure of experience in the field of working
on order. He established contacts with like-minded artists in Belgium and abroad. This
resulted in various stays and friendly encounters in the whole of Europe, especially his trips to
Barcelona (ES) where he also lived for a short amount of time. These were the beginning of a
unique friendship with the Spanish PETADOS crew: a crew that he was proud to join in 2005.
Later Marco also became a member of the German based Pee Unit crew and the Montana
Benelux squad. Marco is not limiting himself to the spraycan activity, but is experimenting
with different styles, materials and techniques. He is breaking away from the standards and
rules of graffiti to discover absolute freedom and constant innovation. The areas of graffiti,
airbrush, graphics, as well as installation art. Marco is productive in all of them. Visit Marco
Scarpato's website at
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