Up There is a short documentary about the sign painters who still work in cities like New York, hand-applying mural-style ads to brick walls. In this short preview clip, you see an accelerated version of a series of murals painted over three weeks to advertise Stella Artois. Each image is drawn cartoon-style onto paper, holes are burned through the cartoon, and charcoal is applied to pattern the brick wall. Then the painters fill in the mural, mixing their paint as they go.
It's truly humbling to see such skilled painters, able to fill a wall with a proportional, almost photorealistic mural in a matter of hours, while hanging on a window washing scaffold above traffic. May they never be out of work.
I didn't know it was still being done that way anywhere, let alone NY! I like spotting old graphics painted on even older red brick walls. They have a nostalgic charm that comes with both age and slight decay. I'm sure a few people have done photo essays on them. I keep meaning to do one of my own since these things won't last forever an it would be a shame to lose them altogether.
Also another link I thought you would enjoy. You may have seen her funny, giant squids before but her latest stuff is even better:
It's a great film, look what we've been doing in the UK to preserve our own hand painted signs: http://www.ghostsigns.co.uk/archive