There is paint and then there is PAINT. Ask any self respecting Graffiti artist anywhere who makes the best, and you will get one answer MTN. Montana Colors.
Originating in Spain, they have been doing it since 1994, but the ride has been a tough one. The company have survived huge unpaid debts, factory fires and even fake versions of their Hardcore Cans. They are strong supporters of new talent and put their money where their mouth is, sponsoring a huge range of different events and art projects.
They now sell their paint in 30 countries worldwide and have 12 paint shops and galleries in Europe and the in US.
They also invented the ‘Donut’(pictured), an amazingly simple device that encircles the valve of a can, so you can see the color of the paint without needing to keep the cap. We spoke to Jase, ‘keepin it real’ from their San Francisco branch.
How many different colors do you produce?
We have 153 “94” colors, 114 “Hardcore” colors and 70 “Alien” colors.
What is your most popular color paint?
Black is always the most popular. By times 10.
Why is your paint in particular so popular?
Because we are the first & original company who designed the paint and the cans for use in Graffiti Art and other art applications. We represent art from the bottom to top in the production of the cans in our company MTN.
Other brands are just suits, after the bottom line with some paid artists endorsements. It’s lame. We are the first and still the only real thing on the market. Our cans are still the highest quality in the world. That’s why we are so often copied.
Do you think Graffiti is becoming more recognized as an art form?
It has been every year for quite some time now. But I think some major advances were made in the last 2 years. I think were all amazed at some of the things happening now. Like the fine art world’s attention and the higher level of media coverage.
Is graffiti, still graffiti if it is on a canvas?
Matter of opinion I guess, possibly even semantics. When I refer to graffiti “art” or graffiti inspired works on canvas I may refer to it as graffiti. But since I do graffiti in the street/trains and on canvas I would have to say by definition graffiti can not be “graffiti” on canvas or other small movable and indoor surfaces. I think you might get a different answer from each person at MTN.
If I am a great graffiti artist, will you give me free paint?
We don’t really have a defined writer team. Or a list of guy’s who get free paint. There are simply too many great artist’s that deserve a break, its never ending.
There are guy’s who are at the top of their game and some we have known through most of their careers. We will help out on special projects.
But the bulk of our support cans go to shows, where as many artists can paint as possible. Not just graffiti shows, but all types of art that can be pushed with our special cans.
Do you have a problem with staff ‘borrowing’ your stock?
No, never. Everyone that works here is welcome to what ever paint they need, no one gets greedy or takes it for granted.
We are a very tight unit though so I don’t know how you could use the cans and we wouldn’t know.. hahaha.
What do you think of Banksy’s stuff?
Very clever stuff. I like it. I have some good friends from Bristol who are very proud of their hometown boy so based on that alone. I’m on his side. I think he’s touched on some very common subjects with a response that seems in retrospect to be very obvious. (why didn’t I think of that kind of thing) That’s what happens when you nail it…
Who do you think is best graffiti artist ever?
Who’s to know? There are so many ways you can classify graffiti artists and their specialties. I’m not sure it’s appropriate to name the “best ever”. I have my favorites, and that doesn’t mean I think they are the best. It’s up to you.
For more info on Montana Colors check out
Main Site: www.montanacolors.com
UK Store: www.montanashopnottingham.com/blog2
US Blog: www.12ozprophet.com
Barcelona Gallery: www.montanagallerybarcelona.com