Artist Brendan Monroe Paints “Forming Clouds” in the Wilkinson Building

“Forming Clouds” is a new mural commissioned by Duke Engineering that spans several walls on the fourth floor of the Wilkinson Building at Duke University. Its abstract cloud shapes flow toward a glass conference room and the Derrick Family Terrace, which overlook Duke Chapel. 

The artist, Brendan Monroe, is a Los Angeles-based muralist known for his graphic black and white abstract designs. His murals have been commissioned by organizations including the City of San Francisco and can be found in the company headquarters of Vans and Airbnb, among many others. 

Monroe was inspired by the clouds found in nature but says that “Forming Clouds” is also a reference to cloud computing—his murals are often site-specific, and the fourth floor of Wilkinson is home to the Computing and Intelligent Systems research neighborhood. In this interview, conducted as he painted, he draws parallels between his own work and the work of engineers: “I think both art and science need to be creative.”