Jason Spencer’s murals capture the spirit of St. Louis | City guide | St Louis | News and Events in St. Louis


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click to enlarge

Thanks to Jason Spencer

Jason Spencer


If you were to take a photo that reflected St. Louis’s cultural identity, what would you include? The Arch, of course, not to mention pizza that’s so mind-bogglingly flat you could shove it under a door. And a bird swinging a baseball bat should appear.

Jason Spencer’s mural may also be included.

With more than two dozen large-scale pieces covering city walls, Spencer’s work under his Killer Napkins brand has become as much a part of the city fabric as Provel cheese. With a signature style that leans towards the monstrous and the absurd, Spencer has painted dazzling murals for companies ranging from the Gramophone and BEAST Butcher & Block to the Sinkhole and many more.

click to enlarge Spencer has more than two dozen large-scale pieces in St. Louis.  - THANKS TO JASON SPENCER

Thanks to Jason Spencer

Spencer has more than two dozen large-scale pieces in St. Louis.

Even if you don’t know his name, you know his work. The outer wall of Pizza Head features the mohawked skeleton surfing a wave of beer on a slice of pizza while firing lightning from an electric guitar. There’s the nine-eyed octopus monster, controlled by an alien and attacking a giant can of City Wide, at Atomic Cowboy. And then there’s Spencer’s current favorite, a horned skeleton/robot hybrid that fires an energy beam from its mechanical third eye across the Paint Louis flood wall, which was not commissioned by a company.

“That’s just a downright giant cyber demon that a lot of companies don’t necessarily want,” he says with a laugh.

click to enlarge Spencer's signature style tends towards the monstrous and the absurd.  - THANKS TO JASON SPENCER

Thanks to Jason Spencer

Spencer’s signature style tends towards the monstrous and the absurd.

Spencer takes inspiration from sci-fi raypunk art, as does the animated film heavy metal† “Cartoons from the 90s and in that sense,” he says. Most of his pieces are funded through a partnership with 4 Hands Brewing, where he integrates their branding into concepts provided by the companies he paints the walls of, or by direct commissions. For the Lucky Accomplice, he was asked to create a jumping rabbit to match the rabbit-themed house style of the southern city bar and restaurant. Spencer solved that premise in his own way, with the rabbit’s eyes clouded menacingly, his paw chopped off, and green mucus seeping from the wound.

“It’s not necessarily to plaster their name on the wall,” he notes.

click to enlarge Spencer operates under his Killer Napkins brand.  - THANKS TO JASON SPENCER

Thanks to Jason Spencer

Spencer operates under his Killer Napkins brand.

Spencer’s work is also sneaking into the burgeoning Missouri medical marijuana industry. Proper Cannabis recently hired him for his signature strain, Alien Rock Candy. The result is a digital artwork of a three-eyed alien raising his hand in greeting, his head mutated to look like a cannabis bud, over a wasteland with the arch in the distance.

Recently, Spencer has started sculpting pieces in virtual reality. Using an Oculus Quest, he manipulates a ball of pixels into his creations with his hands before sending it to a 3D printer. The result is tiny toy monsters with incredible amounts of detail.

click to enlarge Spencer's work is as much a part of the urban fabric as Provel cheese.  - THANKS TO JASON SPENCER

Thanks to Jason Spencer

Spencer’s work is as much a part of the urban fabric as Provel cheese.

“My favorite part is you can just blow that thing up and essentially crawl into the frame to get really fine detail,” he explains. “I’d even blow it up and climb into the mouth, then start sculpting the teeth.”

It is simply the newest medium for the tireless creative. Art for sale on his site, shopkillernapkins.com, includes woven blankets, T-shirts, acrylic transfers, and original prints. Add in his incredible murals that cover walls all over the city, and it’s clear that Spencer’s art should be included in any representation of St. Louis culture.

click to enlarge Spencer has created murals for businesses ranging from the Gramophone to the Sinkhole.  - THANKS TO JASON SPENCER

Thanks to Jason Spencer

Spencer has created murals for businesses ranging from the Gramophone to the Sinkhole.

Hell, he should probably be the one holding the pen.

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