Ever since Marco painted the walls of his first teeny weeny basement apartment he’s been hooked on painting walls. His studio in the lower east side is one giant mural
Before there was Starbucks: An early Marcoart mural peeks from the heady primordial pre-gentrified mists of ye olde LES. A tourist visiting NYC’s then very seedy Lower East Side years ago captured this grainy footage of one of Marco’s first ever murals…If you squint it’s kind of like catching a glimpse of the Sasquatch after stumbling home from-for those LES-er’s who fondly remember the gone but not forgotten Saint Jerome’s across the street from Streit’s Matzohs & ABC No Rio.
Marco painted over thirty Swatch Watch Stores all across world after the worldwide debut of his best-selling Limited Edition Swatch Watch-The Alien baby
Marco’s murals are in Swatch Watch stores from Columbus Ave to Chicago to South Beach to Taipei! For every mural Marco’s assignment was to create a site-specific piece of artwork that visually captured the essence of the city in which the store was located in order to give visitors the feeling that the branch was not just special but extra super special because Swatch commissioned not just any artist but one who designed one of it’s most iconic POP ART limited edition watches to paint their ever-growing network of company-owned, not franchised retail locations all over the world.
When Marco first got the call it was from Carlo, a man who Marco had initially persistently cold-called for weeks after being given his contact information from a customer who had just happened to come into his store in the then very sleepy Lower East Side of Manhattan in the mid 90’s.
When the call came in Carlo told Marco that he had a project for him to do and asked him if he would be interested? Marco immediately said yes without even asking what the project entailed and the rest they say is history. Carlo who had worked with Marco on the creation of the Alien Baby Swatch watch-Marcoart Swatch Factoid #245: “The first watch that Marco created for Swatch wasn’t the Alien baby but DOG EAT DOG!
Just after Carlo agreed to let Marco design a Limited Edition Artist Swatch Marco visited The Swatch Lab, a loft space in NYC on Broadway near Houston Street that Swatch used as a design studio to create mock ups for his watches. Since Dog Eat Dog was at that time Marco’s Signature iconic design and in his mind symbolized everything NYC was to him, he didn’t think twice about proposing that design as the one Swatch should use for his Limited Edition Artist Swatch Watch…maybe he should have…but before we go there where did this Dog Eat Dog design come from?
When Marco was just a puppy he stumbled across a one bedroom railroad flat on Clinton Street in New York City’s Lower East Side the rent was $500.00 and it was a fixer upper. Marco’s roommates were a big rat and lots of little and not so little roaches. Every morning Marco walked to SOHO to sell his paintings on the corner of Prince and Greene Street he was there so much he could have passed for a lamppost late at night he’d walk home and if sales were good treat himself to a can of sardines with tomato sauce.
In that little flat Marco had a little table where he’d doodle things from his noodle to the pencil and onto the paper. Staring back at him one day was this Dog with teeth bared ready to rip into a weenie, somewhere deep inside him a teeny voice said this is your calling, looking down Marco realized it was the Dog talking.
In Dog Eat Dog he had created a Matador, Marco was the Bull, Dog Eat Dog looked at Marco and mumbled something, Marco smiled at the toothy canine and said: “Don’t talk with your mouth full”
It turns out Swatch Corporate out in Switzerland felt that the Dog’s gnashing teeth were a bit too intimidating and were maybe worried that such a formidable countenance would scare potential customer away, Carlo told Marco to come up with a more innocuous perhaps even benign design…Marco went back to the drawing board and doodled up the most non-threatening creature he could imagine the result was….
After Swatch commissioned Marco to create what ended up being the best-selling artist Limited
Edition Swatch Watch they decided to have him paint a bunch of their stores. One of them was located in New York City in the Upper West Side on 72nd and Columbus Ave (just a few blocks from Papaya King home of the quintessential NYC weenie) when Marco walked in-to Swatch, not Papaya King, he realized that the store was dangerous close to Central Park and the Museum of Natural History where dinosaurs have been known to escape from and wander into the park which made the Museum guard’s job a lot less boring.
In order to alert both customers and passers-by who peered though the big plate glass windows into the Swatch store Marco decided to hide this mythic message in plain sight…the rest is history.
Natural History make no bones about it! Marco went on to paint lots and lots of Swatch Stores:
Of course Swatch was not the ONLY watch brand to get a taste of Marco’s magic…Just in time for Earth Day Marcoart made Sprout Watches POP like only Marco knows how…in STYLE!
Marco hand-painted each and every one of those watch boxes you just saw in the above video, all of which have long since been sold-BUT…what really ROCKS, is that Marco made a series of Prints he calls the SUN TREE collection that are taken directly from the watch boxes and which like the Sun are out of this world – CHECK THEM OUT HERE!
Come to think of it there’s not too many places in the world where Marco hasn’t worked his mural magic…In the Middle East Marco waved his magic paintbrush wand and made a center for special needs just a little more exceptional
or before, back in Manhattan when he was commissioned by Marco to make the cafeteria of Net Jets Corporate office on Park Avenue POP Marco did not disappoint turning this rush job around in just ONE weekend!
Out on Long Island in prestigious Southampton, famed American collector and philanthropist based in Switzerland Anthony Pilaro, commissioned Marco to make a painting for in his pool house…feeling a bit stifled Marco decided to branch out and ended up painting the entire place!
The pool house along with the rest of Tony’s swank digs were featured in….Hamptons Cottage and Garden Magazine which dubbed Marco’s work.
TOTALLY POOL | Zervudachi’s whimsical side really comes through in the poolhouse. He commissioned a New York graffiti artist named Marco to create the cartoon-like interior.
In point of fact it was Tony Pilaro, the owner of the estate who commissioned Marco to make his Pool house POP and not Mr Tino Zervudachi, who Marco has yet to have the pleasure of meeting and who was the subject of the HCGM article titled:”TIno’s Triumph” which goes on to describe how Mr Zervudachi used substantial powers of interior decoration to transform Mr Pilaro’s Mansion into a Parisian art palace!
While he was there Marco did a bit of a Pop Art-carpeting job in Mr Pilaro’s living room with his amigo Mister Z, who first introduced Marco to Mr.Pilaro in attendance
While Marco was in the Hamptons, he had himself an art show, one of the highlights of which was well-attended and a welcome break for his lungs from breathing fantastic clouds of paint fumes in the pool house.
After so much fun fabulous highfalutin times Marco in the land of immense Mansions, hedges, and even bigger hedge funds Marco loaded up his art mobile and booted it back to the good old Boogie Down Bronx to do a huge mural for Homes for the Homeless.
Homesick after the hooking up the Homeless Marco high tailed it south to his beloved LES (Lower East Side) where he blasted an ugly construction fence Orchard Street next to his Gallery Boutique that really made the block POP!