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Psst... Secret Is Out: Secret Walls All-Star Rumble 2017

One of the most anticipated events every year at Art Basel in Miami is Secret Walls, this year being no exception. With the addition of new corporate sponsors, a new venue, and live painting before the main contest, Secret Walls stepped up its game, and delivered in a big way.

First, a little background: Starting with their first battle in Shoreditch London in 2006, Secret Walls has grown into the premier live art event in the world today. The basic premise is simple; two large white canvases (sometimes as tall as twenty-five feet), solo artists or teams, black paint, markers and a ninety-minute time limit. At the end of the ninety minutes, a winner is chosen by the audience, and sometimes a guest judge or two.

Kicking off the night's festivities, both Nychos and Mad Steez killed it on the live painting front. What a treat to get the event warmed up.

The All-Star Rumble started with the usual introductions...and the ritual chanting of Rule No. 1. What is Rule No. 1, you ask? NO PENCILS...what was that? NO PENCILS.

Our Cast of Characters for This Year's War

Team Gregmike: Gregmike, Dragon76, It's a Living, James Bullough, Sticky Monger and Miryam Lumpini

Team Gondekdraws: Matt Gondek, Miles Toland, 123 Klan, Lillipore, Young Jarus and Chema Skandal

And then it began; a little quick strategizing between artists, a few tentative strokes of their tools, and the game was on (like donkey kong)!

The ninety minutes seemed to fly by as the teams resorted to trash talking and mischievous shenanigans. Half of the fun of being a spectator at a Secret Walls' event is the hijinks. The Secret Walls' motto is "Paint Will Spill" after all. One of the highlights of the night came when Young Jarus from Team Gondekdraws grabbed a young fan from the audience, and made him an honorary member of the crew!

Finally it was time to pick a winner... but not before artist Drew Merritt brought the energy up to the next level with his pyrotechnic skills. -- I am still cleaning black dots of paint from my glasses and camera lens...close enough to feel the heat -- (is there any other way to go?!?)

After the audience vote, the guest judge Nychos gave his choice, with Mad Steez casting the final ballot...

And the winner was?!?


To say Team Gregmike killed it is an understatement. I was especially taken with how AMAZING Dragon76 was on the quickdraw. I have always been impressed with his mural skills, but now I am WOWED, a legend in my eyes. Not to take anything away from the other artists, but Dragon76 seriously brought it.

I heard a rumor the other day (a little birdie told me), that Secret Walls is coming back to NYC in a big way, anyone listening?!? This Super Fan sure hopes so!!

Happy Holidays to all and to all...remember Rule No. 1... NO PENCILS.

Until next year, bytegirl signing out... (with a sharpie)

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