Artist: It’s the act of painting that I’m seeking

Created: 07/25/2014 5:46 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Ernest Doty lives to paint on walls. He used to get arrested for it. Now he gets paid for it.

Doty is an internationally famous muralist and street artist whose newest work literally dominates the Museum of Albuquerque. He was born and raised here, but found fame and fortune after moving to Oakland, California about 4 years ago.  In Albuquerque he was busted a few times for graffiti.

“For me personally, it’s the act of painting that I’m seeking,” Doty said while putting finishing touches on a sort of hawk-and-hummingbird mural in the museum’s courtyard. “That’s the joy I get out of it.”

Doty’s medium is spray paint. His canvas is a wall.

“The good thing is that there’s an endless supply of walls,” Doty said after stripping masking tape away from a new line of paint. “I mean there’s a million houses and buildings all around the world so for every person that doesn’t like what you do, there’s a hundred people that do.”

Doty has painted a dead or dying bird on the museum’s front wall, with new birds springing to life and flying away. He’s this year’s muralist at the museum. Next year, it will be somebody else painting over what he’s painting today.

“That’s the nature of the beast, because street art is temporary,” Doty said. “Nothing is permanent, not even us, nothing we’ve built. This empire, it’s all going to fall someday.”

But a little thing like that won’t stop Ernest Doty.

“I’ve been all around the United States,” he said. “I’ve been to China a few times, Guatemala, Mexico. I’m getting ready to do a mural in Anchorage and I’ve just been invited to Brazil.”

For Ernest, where there’s a wall, there’s a way.

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