A Secret Walls Battle in Los Angeles
A Secret Walls Battle in Los Angeles, CA, at the launch party for Street Fighter 6 in 2023Photo Credit Jaime Guerrero

Secret Walls: Revolutionizing Global Art Competitions with Live Paint Battles and Creative Collaborations

From East London to the World: How Secret Walls is Creating a Global Community through Live Art Competitions and Innovative Brand Partnerships

Introduction to Secret Walls

Secret Walls, a pioneer in the live art battle arena, is captivating global audiences with its electrifying live paint competitions. Founded in East London and now headquartered in Los Angeles, Secret Walls has transformed the art world by blending creativity, competition, and community in an unmatched high-energy showdown. This unique platform highlights the extraordinary talents of artists worldwide, fostering a global creative community and redefining art competitions.

Artist Audifax during a Secret Walls
Artist Audifax during a Secret Walls battle in Madison, WI on the Support Your Local Artist Tour, 2022Photo Credit Finn Peterson

Founder Terry Guy’s Vision and Achievements


It's been almost 20 years since you founded Secret Walls. What are you most proud of, and what has been the team's biggest accomplishments so far?


Looking back on nearly two decades, I'm incredibly proud of how Secret Walls has grown from a small grassroots movement/idea into a global phenomenon. We've created a platform that not only celebrates art but also brings communities together in a unique and exciting way. One of our biggest accomplishments has been our ability to foster a global community of artists and fans who are passionate about creativity and competition. Additionally, pioneering the live art space has set the stage for others to follow, helping to expand our industry and inspire more live global art events. Seeing artists (Matt Gondek, Reeps One, Brett Crawford, to name a few) who started with us go on to have successful careers and watching our brand resonate with audiences around the world has been immensely rewarding.

SW Founder Terry Guy
SW Founder Terry GuyPhoto Credit Ja Tecson

The Secret Walls Battle Experience


For someone who has never been to a battle, can you describe the event and what they can expect?


We've crafted this experience for everyone with a mission to inspire, educate and entertain using the power of original art. A Secret Walls paint battle is a high-energy, live art competition that feels like a mix between a sports event and a rap battle. Imagine two teams of artists going head-to-head, each armed with black Posca markers and paint, creating large-scale freestyle murals within a 90-minute timeframe. The atmosphere is electric, with a DJ spinning tracks, a lively crowd cheering, and a panel of judges scoring the work. It's an interactive and immersive experience where the audience is just as much a part of the event as the artists. It's a unique event that I never tire of, even after attending over 1500 battles!

Secret Walls Battle at Tampa Walls Festival
Secret Walls Battle at Tampa Walls Festival in Tampa, FL in 2024Photo Credit Utopia Imagery)

City-to-City: Unique Flavors of Secret Walls Competitions


Do the battles differ greatly from city to city, from country to country? Which city has been the most competitive?


Absolutely, the live art battles do differ from city to city and country to country. Each location brings its own unique energy, artistic styles, musical tastes, and cultural influences to the event. Some cities might have a more street-art-focused crowd, while others might bring a more diverse artistic flavor.

Reflecting on the old Secret Walls days during the EUROLEAGUE, the vibe was very much underground and gritty. The competition was intense, often fueled by the passionate rivalries between different team nations. These early battles were raw and unfiltered, with artists from various countries bringing their unique styles and cultural influences into the mix. The underground scene added an extra layer of excitement and unpredictability, making each event a thrilling experience.

In terms of modern-day competitiveness, it's tough to choose just one city. However, I would say London, Atlanta, and Chicago have consistently shown some of the fiercest competition. The artists in these cities are incredibly talented and passionate, always pushing the boundaries of what's possible in a live art battle. London, with its rich history of street art, often brings a bold and edgy style to the battles. Atlanta's vibrant art scene is infused with the city's musical and cultural heritage, creating a unique blend of creativity. Chicago, known for its diverse and dynamic art community, never fails to deliver high-energy performances and stunning visuals.

Each city we visit adds a new chapter to the Secret Walls story, contributing to the global tapestry of art and culture we continue to weave. The passion and creativity of the artists and the enthusiasm of the crowds ensure that every battle is a memorable event.

Secret Walls crowd cheering during a battle at OuterSpace Project in 2016
Secret Walls crowd cheering during a battle at OuterSpace Project in 2016Photo Credit ABV Gallery
Artists The Obanoth and AngelOnce celebrate their win
Artists The Obanoth and AngelOnce celebrate their win at a Secret Walls Battle in Pomona, CA on the Support Your Local Artist Tour, 2022Photo Credit Finn Peterson

Dream Collaborations and Future Plans


You've collaborated with many renowned brands, such as Nike, Apple, and Bentley. Who is your next dream collaborator, and what would you want to do?


We've been fortunate to work with some incredible brands over the years, and each collaboration has brought something unique to the table, plus introduced our brand to new audiences. Looking ahead, a dream collaborator would be a brand like LEGO. The idea of combining our live paint battles with the creativity and playfulness of LEGO could result in some really innovative and engaging events. Imagine artists building and painting with LEGO bricks, creating art pieces that combine both mediums. It would be a fantastic way to engage both kids and adults in the creative process. Another dream collaboration would be with Palace Skateboards. Their edgy, street-culture vibe aligns perfectly with the raw, urban energy of Secret Walls, and together, we could create some truly iconic live painting events and artworks in the skate x art universe.

A Secret Walls Battle in collaboration with LA Golf Club
A Secret Walls Battle in collaboration with LA Golf Club at the Secret Walls HQ in Los Angeles, 2024Photo Credit Michael Castro

The Posca Partnership: Elevating the Artist Experience


Posca was recently announced as Secret Walls' official paint marker. How did this partnership come about?


Exciting times :) I used to travel to Japan using my student loan money 20 years ago, just to get the latest colors! So, this partnership with Posca feels full circle and is something we're really excited about. Posca markers have been a staple in the art community for years, and they are known for their quality and versatility. Our relationship with Posca developed naturally over time, as many of our artists were already using their markers in battles. Recognizing the synergy between our brands, we saw a great opportunity to formalize this relationship and provide our artists with the best tools to express their creativity. Posca shares our passion for supporting artists and fostering creativity, making them an ideal partner for Secret Walls.

Moreover, Posca is playing a pivotal role in helping us build out our creative community programming inside the Secret Walls Universe. This partnership goes beyond just supplying markers; it’s about enriching our community and enhancing the overall experience. With Posca's support, we are developing workshops, educational programs, and community events that aim to nurture and inspire the next generation of artists. These initiatives are designed to be inclusive, accessible, and engaging, ensuring that art enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels can participate and benefit.

By integrating Posca into our SW community efforts, we are not only providing high-quality materials for our battles but also creating opportunities for learning and growth. This collaboration allows us to expand our reach, engage more deeply with our audience and continue to innovate within the live art space. Together with Posca, we are committed to pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in live art and making a lasting impact on the creative community.

Artist Wotto with workshop attendees
Artist Wotto with workshop attendees after leading a skateboard customization workshop with Secret Walls X POSCAPhoto Credit Emmett Methven

What’s Next for Secret Walls


What's next for Secret Walls this year?


This year is shaping up to be one of our most exciting yet. We're expanding our SW network to include new cities and countries over the next 12-24 months, bringing the Secret Walls experience to even more people around the world. We're also focusing on enhancing the fan experience with more interactive elements and digital integrations, allowing people who can't attend in person to be part of the action.

Additionally, we're launching new initiatives to support emerging artists and provide them with platforms to showcase their work through our Secret Walls Academy program. This initiative is designed to mentor and develop the next generation of artists, providing them with the skills, exposure, and opportunities they need to succeed.

Looking ahead, we're keen to build legacy projects over the next 20 years of Secret Walls. Our vision is to create lasting impacts within the communities we serve, fostering a deeper appreciation for art and culture. We are actively seeking to align with brands that share our commitment to this community and are interested in building with us for the long term. These partnerships are crucial as they help us sustain and grow our initiatives, ensuring that we continue to inspire and support artists and art lovers alike.

We're excited about the possibilities and can't wait to share our journey with everyone. Follow along on our Instagram @secretwalls for exciting announcements soon. Together, with the support of dedicated partners, we're ready to push the boundaries of what’s possible in live art and create a vibrant, enduring legacy.

A Secret Walls battle taking place across the entire wall
A Secret Walls battle taking place across the entire wall of a building at BLINK Festival in Cincinnati, OH in 2022Photo Credit Finn Peterson

About Secret Walls

Secret Walls, founded nearly 20 years ago in East London and now based in Los Angeles, has revolutionized the global art scene with its dynamic live paint battles. This innovative platform merges creativity, competition, and community, showcasing extraordinary talent from around the world. With a mission to inspire and entertain, Secret Walls has hosted over 1500 battles in cities worldwide, from London to Los Angeles. Their recent collaboration with POSCA, a leading name in the art supplies industry, further enhances the artist experience by providing high-quality materials and fostering community engagement. For more information about upcoming events and collaborations, visit Secret Walls or follow them on Instagram @secretwalls.

#SupportYourLocalArtist #ArtOfCompetition

A fan holds a t-shirt reading SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL ARTIST
A fan holds a t-shirt reading SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL ARTIST at a Secret Walls Battle in Miami in 2016Photo Credit Sebastian Ramirez
A Secret Walls Battle in Los Angeles
Allison Freidin: Pioneering Graffiti Art's Renaissance in Miami

Become an Insider!  Step into the world of luxury with RESIDENT Magazine. Click here to subscribe to our exclusive newsletter and gain unparalleled access to the latest in luxury lifestyle, high-end real estate, travel exclusives, and so much more.

Are you interested in advertising with Resident? Email us at advertising@resident.com to learn more.

Resident Magazine