Know Your Madisonian: State Street spray paint artist gets 'goosebumps' from spectators' reactions to his work
Art Business

Know Your Madisonian: State Street spray paint artist gets ‘goosebumps’ from spectators’ reactions to his work

A crowd watches on State Street as Travis Knapp applies fire to help the paint dry on one of his works. Knapp, who calls himself the “Spray Paint Guy,” has been creating paintings of cosmic scenes for patrons and passers-by Downtown since 2002, attracting crowds of up to 50 or more people who watch as he sprays layers of vibrant colors from aerosol cans onto white poster boards. He uses stencils, bowls, plates, fire, scissors and his fingers to create astrological landscapes with moons, planets, volcanoes, waterfalls and Madison icons such as the state Capitol or Bucky Badger, which he sells for about $30 each. A type of performance art Knapp picked up when he lived in San Diego, each work takes around five to 10 minutes to complete, eliciting wide eyes, applause and “oohs” and “ahhs” from the crowd. Travis Knapp uses spray paint, plates and a bowl to create planets for a cosmic painting as a crowd watches on State Street. But in 2012, the city was considering shutting down Knapp’s performances amid complaints from residents about the smell of the paint and traffic hazards created by the crowds, Knapp said. Going into a public meeting on […]


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