HOLLYWOOD///THE “HOW MANY BILLBOARDS’” PROJECT TAKES TO THE SKIES

February 23, 2010  |  art, Billboard Liberation, LA, News, Skyjacking  |  Comments Off

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Screen shot 2010-02-23 at 7.04.28 PM
Billboard by Kerry Tribe

If you live in Los Angeles, you're well aware of the increasing visual pollution caused by the endless propagation of billboards and supergraphics vying for every open inch of Southland skyline. A welcome break to the aesthetic ad-driven monotony comes in the form of the "HOW MANY BILLBOARDS" project, presented by the MAK CENTER, featuring the artwork of 20+ artists plastered (legally) on billboards at key locations in and around the Hollywood area. While the artist roster doesn't exactly blow our minds or, likely, the minds of many young people in the area(WTF, no Skullphone, Ron English, Allison Schulnik, Barry McGee, Barbra Kruger, Raymond Pettibon, Catherine Opie, or Chaz Bojorquez?!), the project itself is a great follow-up to the precedent-setting and more visually stunning ARTBOARD FESTIVAL that took place in LA in 1977 and featured artists like Rick Griffin and Ed Ruscha, a project that has been kept alive in recent years by UNDFTD who have maintained their eye-popping art billboard for several years now.

DIRECTOR'S STATEMENT
Kimberli Meyer

The philosophical proposition of the exhibition is simple: art should occupy a visible position in the cacophony of mediated images in the city, and it should do so without merely adding to the visual noise. How Many Billboards? Art In Stead proposes that art periodically displace advertisement in the urban environment.

Billboards are a dominant feature of the landscape in Los Angeles. Thousands line the city's thoroughfares, delivering high-end commercial messages to a repeat audience. Given outdoor advertising's strong presence in public space, it seems reasonable and exciting to set up the possibility for art to be present in this field. The sudden existence of artistic speech mixed in with commercial speech provides a refreshing change of pace. Commercial messaging tells you to buy; artistic messaging encourages you to look and to think.

Time and space allotted for artworks in commercial space is limited, and the sea of signs is vast. How can a billboard exhibition make a strong enough impact? Most importantly, the art cannot be passive. It must take a strategic approach, be critically oriented, and explore the billboard as a site.

Artistically and culturally, Los Angeles is an aggregate of dynamic histories. Experimental architecture has been active here since the early twentieth century, radical art since the 1950s. An acute awareness of urban space has always influenced both avant-garde architectural and art practices in Los Angeles. Southern California's overlaps and interweaves of architectural adventurism, pop, and Conceptual Art have generated rich environments for artistic production and yielded influential bodies of art. My co-curators and I felt that these So-Cal syntheses are relevant for the dynamics of pop-public space in Los Angeles today.

It's a win-win situation.

Los Angeles public space begs for smart art to break up the monotony of everyday media fare, and the billboard provides a fertile position for artists who work critically and site-responsively to test their ideas in urban media space. Contemporary art gains a momentarily broad audience, and city dwellers are extended a daily invitation to reflect and contemplate. Channels are opened for experimentation, innovation, and cultural exchange.

The MAK Center, the project partners, and I invite you to explore, enjoy, and tell us what you think.

*Read more about the project HERE...

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Billboard by Yvonne Rainer

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Billboard by David Lamelas

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Billboard by Kenneth Anger

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SKYJACKING///STREET LIFE///RON ENGLISH WIEGHS IN ON THE STATE OF THE HEALTH CARE DEBATE

February 11, 2010  |  art, Art Crimes, Billboard Liberation, Graffiti, News, Ron English, Street Art  |  Comments Off

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"Liberated" billboard in Jersey City by RON ENGLISH...

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LA///BILLBOARD LIBERATION///SKULL PHONE GOES SKY HIGH IN ECHO PARK

January 31, 2009  |  art, Billboard Liberation, Graffiti, LA, News, Street Cred  |  Comments Off

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"Objects in mirror appear closer than they actually are..."

Mobile communications-loving street artist SKULLPHONE went sky high in Echo Park last week when this aerial homage to his billboard hijacking rampage in Hollywood last summer. Anyone who blinked missed it, of course. It was buffed less than 24 hours later. Keep your eyes peeled for more "interventions" coming soon...
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ART CRIMES///RON ENGLISH UNVEILS “ABRAHAM OBAMA” BILLBOARD IN HOLLYWOOD & SEATTLE

January 22, 2009  |  art, Art Crimes, Billboard Liberation, Graffiti, Hollywood Swingin', LA, News, Ron English, Street Art  |  Comments Off

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Ron English brings "Abraham Obama" to Hollywood, and the cold heart of Seattle...

Supertouch's own RON ENGLISH has been a very busy man in LA and Seattle this week following his stop in DC to celebrate BARACK OBAMA's inauguration on Tuesday. Located at the corner of Pico & Fairfax in Hollywood, this newly "liberated" billboard features Ron's iconic "Abraham Obama" hybrid portrait created for the Big O's presidential campaign last year. HAVE A LOOK: Read More

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LONDON CALLING///BILLBOARD LIBERATION///ON THE WALL WITH JAMES CAUTY…

June 17, 2008  |  Art Crimes, Billboard Liberation, Cool Shit, Graffiti, London, News, Street Art, Street Life  |  Comments Off

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Katie shills for Jimmie...

In the street art riddled streets of London Lichtenstein-ian AgitPop artist JAMES CAUTY knows to get a little attention you have to pull out the big guns. In other words, Kate Moss. Such was the case when the young artist liberated a few East End billboards in the name of art, er, self-promotion (there is a website listed on there after all). Nicely done. Now that Kate's advert campaigns are on the wane and retirement is looming large on the horizon these bombs may be the only daily doses of her we have in the near future. HAVE A LOOK: Read More

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HOLLYWOODLAND///STREET LIFE///SKULLPHONE SKYJACKS LA’S DIGITAL BILLBOARDS…

March 20, 2008  |  art, Billboard Liberation, LA, News, Skullduggery, Street Life  |  Comments Off

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Skullphone goes digital above Barracuda at 7769 Melrose...

Right now the enigma that is known only as SKULLPHONE is easily Clear Channel Communications' greatest enemy in SoCal since he hijacked 10 of the advertising giant's most prominent digital billboards around LA in Hollywood, Westwood, and the art hotspot of Culver City. Hacking into the billboard's computer network today, our boy positioned his trademark skullphone imagery in between the array of flashing movie, TV, and auto company ads that make up the normal paid advertising barrage on the giant illuminated monitors. Keep an eye out for more photos to come throughout the day...

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Photos by Curtis Kulig

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