Category Archives: Colossal Media

Stella Artois Commissioned NYC Sign Painters Mural & Film Project

Day 18 'Enter the knife'

Just after the New Year, I received an e-mail from a spokesperson for a documentary crew in New York City called The Ritual Project, currently working on an art and film project commissioned by Stella Artois.

The Ritual Project Painter Crew - Sky High painters are some of the last purveyors of the hand-painted advertising tradition.

They’ve been working with the guys at Colossal/Sky High Murals, New York’s finest outdoor advertising company that “specializes in high-impact painted wallscapes.”


As was explained t0 me,  Stella Artois commissioned  “the guys over at Sky High Murals” to paint the entire 9-step Belgian pouring ritual, step by step. Over 21 days of painting, the documentary team created a stop-motion film on a 20×50 wall.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

The spokesperson went on further to say, “As you’re quite familiar with the craft of handpainted signage, I’m sure you can image the scale of the project — and then to keep painting over it! That’s a lot of hard work, and a great effort from the painters to keep the talent and creativity going from day to day.”

Beyond that, The Ritual Project is delving into the painters’ world. In the coming weeks, they will be releasing a short documentary about them online and at events around the U.S.

Day 17

Belgian Pouring Process

Belgian Pouring Process close up

The entire documentary process is beautifully documented with photography and videos on The Ritual Project website. Thank you for giving us at FAB an “insider’s peek” at the upcoming project. Also featured is a great interview with our friend and fading ad enthusiast in the UK, Ghostsign’s Sam Roberts!

The Ritual Project:

Soho Cola Ad – Colossal Coverup

© Frank H. Jump

© Frank H. Jump

More on the Colossal Media ad’s bid for this airspace.

Colossal Media Dewars Ad in Red Hook, Brooklyn

Colossal Media Dewars Ad in Red Hook
© Frank H. Jump

Sam Roberts of UK Brick Ads site was kind enough to comment on the recent Landmarks hearings at which I was asked to speak on behalf of Colossal Media, but sent a letter instead due to work schedule conflicts.

Letter to Landmarks Commission on behalf of Colossal Media Advertising (a Brooklyn business!)

courtesy of Colossal Media

60 Grand Street
© Frank H. Jump 1998

Recently I was contacted by Colossal Media Advertising to represent them at a NYC Landmarks Commission hearing about the 60 Grand Street Coca-Cola ad space being used for a modern ad site. Here is the letter I had read during the hearing since it was scheduled while I was teaching school.


Fading Ad Wiki

The New York City
Landmarks Preservation Commission
One Centre Street
New York, NY 10007

December 11, 2007

Good Afternoon Chair Robert B. Tierney
& Representatives of the Landmarks Preservation Commission,

My name is Frank Jump and I’m speaking on behalf of Colossal Media Advertising. I’ve been documenting vintage painted mural ads on NYC brick-faces for over a decade. My websites (Fading Ad Campaign and Fading AIDS Gallery) and the Fading Ad Blog have received critical attention and their unique take on vintage advertising continues to be exemplified as a metaphor of survival since my diagnosis with HIV in 1984. In 1998, the N-Y Historical Society exhibited twenty-four photographs of what I call fading ads (as opposed to ghost ads)- representations of the impermanence of life. These remnants of our advertising past have since become symbols of shifting demographics, urban renewal and development.


Recently on Bill Maher’s HBO Real Time, Gloria Steinhem stated, “Nostalgia is another form of obstructionism.¹” At first, this comment seemed reactionary, but when given some further reflection, its implication within the context of the political banter became transcendent. Progress is thwarted when we hold on to feelings of what we perceive as “the good old days.” Today’s classic fading ads were once yesterday’s eyesores. Back in the heyday of hand-painted outdoor advertising, a tradition we owe to ad pioneers like OJ Gude, much of the public debate was over the unsightliness of these oversized ads. Not much has changed in a century.


Colossal Media produces modern ads that are visually exciting- ads that will become tomorrow’s classic fading ads. With the hand-painted brickface ad medium, Colossal Media is continuing the tradition of the painted ad that has become an indelible symbol of New York’s urban landscape. Tourists come to New York, the mecca for world commerce- and expect to see both the historic and modern- the old classic and the new classic. Sign enthusiasts all over the world, like Sam Roberts UK Brick Ads Blog² marvel over Colossal’s painted mural ads, which have become a tourist attraction. No one expects fading ads to last forever. Just like fashion trends, they come and go. I’d rather see a vintage ad covered by a classic Colossal modern work of art than with one of those crass outdoor illuminated billboards or a dingy nylon fabric hung ad. The pride Colossal Media takes in their work is evident in their finished product.

Colossal Media Dewars³

Frank H. Jump