Gas and electricity bills, and estimates for bricks, paint, toilets, or doors are being turned into canvases—as we speak—by the indie graphic arts scene in Argentina. Through a program called #pimpmyfactura, the underground visual arts scene scene is bailing out three community day cares by transforming their debts into artwork. Top graffiti, paste up, collage and graphic design artists are merging from diverse disciplines towards one common goal: converting those unsettled bills into marketable works of art.
Over 40 artists from Argentina, Spain, Brazil, Uruguay, the Philippines and Colombia answered #pimpmyfactura's call and created artworks to be sold for charity for the value of the bill turned canvas.
The #pimpmyfactura project emerged last year in a contest that linked a foundation involved with low income daycares to TBWA, an advertisement agency that came up with a creative and concrete way of generating funds for the foundation. TBWA copywriter Enzo Ciucci is co-creator of #pimpmyfactura, and drew a bird's skull on a hardware store estimate.
"I've been doing animal anatomy for some time. In this case, I drew an encyclopedic illustration of an inexistent species," the cofounder tells Creators of his intervention on a drain strainer quote worth 454 pesos. "The idea behind #pimpmyfactura is that we noticed that charity always finds donations, but no one ever takes care of existing debts." Running on that idea, Ciucci, his creative partner Felipe Rostagnol, and project coordinator Sofía Hoffmann started inviting artists to take part in the mutation of the overdue payments.
"The concept is that every piece be sold for the amount owed on the quote or bill that it's painted on and sales go directly towards that payment," project coordinator Hoffman details to Creators.
Graphic designer George Manta is a musician, but is also famous in the industry for his illustrations. He's designed posters for the South American shows of Tame Impala, CocoRosie, and Lee "Scratch" Perry, to name a few. "When I got contacted by PMF, I was working on a Devendra Banhart poster for his upcoming concert in September. I had prepared many sketches and the producers discarded this one, which was my favorite because of its straightforward expression. It was stuck in mind. So when I received PMF's invoice, I got it blown up to work on a larger surface. And that's how I drew Devendra Banhart's eyes on a heating/AC invoice," Manta tells Creators.
"Beyond the fact that the idea is stupendous , i.e. giving a hand while doing what you love best, I think that it's also a great opportunity to remind people that artists don't live in a parallel universe or alternate reality. On the contrary," the poster artist adds.
The participation since the early stages of the project of well known Argentine street artists, such as Diego Roa, Tano Veron, Pedro Perelman, El Marian or RRAA has helped with the rallying of further talents in this unprecedented supportive artistic event.
Gordopelota is a prominent muralist and painter on the local visual arts scene and beyond. Convinced of PMF's potential, he painted one of his iconic amateur soccer scenes on a paint store bill. "The initiative here is undoubtedly amazing. As a street muralist, I've taken part in many workshops with kids from all walks of life. Let's not be so pretentious as to think that street art can save the world, but as #pimpmyfactura, it allows you to make a simple significant action," Gordopelota highlights.
All pieces will be on exhibition at Buenos Aires' Centro Cultural Rojas from August 4th to the 14th. They will be for sale for the amount of the bill they are painted on, and 100% of profit goes to the debts of these daycare centers through the Publicidar foundation. The artwork can be purchased online at pimpmyfactura.com.