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A Drive-Thru Art Show Appears on Billboards in LA

Arts organization The Billboard Creative has teamed up with over 40 artists, including Paul McCarthy and Alex Prager, to make art history through advertising.

by Sami Emory
Dec 23 2016, 3:25pm

All images courtesy of the artists and The Billboard Creative, unless otherwise noted

Los Angeles commuters are getting an on-the-house arts education for the month of December. The Billboard Creative (TBC) filled the city's ubiquitous roadside advertisements together with the help of nearly 50 artists.

Now, instead of absorbing the messaging of budget beer brands and insurance companies, LA car owners can appreciate art history in the making with the works of artists such as Paul McCarthy and Alex Prager. Both locals to the city, McCarthy and Prager use their elevated works to reflect LA’s cultural milieu back to its inhabitants. McCarthy’s contribution is a comical caricature of women in the Wild West, an allusion to the industry that drives the city. Prager takes a more realistic though voyeuristic look at the cultural underbelly of LA with a fitting scene of the morning commute (above).

mccarthy.jpg

Courtesy of the artist and Hauser & Wirth

But featuring the work of established artists is only a small part of TBC’s objective. The project is geared towards giving literal air time to aspiring artists: a blind submission model brings impartiality to the selection process. With the help of the organization The People Concern, TBC has also dedicated their billboard at 5th and San Pedro to artists living on Skid Row. The only requirement for all the artists represented is an ability portray, through their work, the shifting spectrum of the city’s lively art scene.

The project also fosters art accessibility, in particular with contemporary art. To facilitate this further, the organization has launched a TBC app with a geotagged map of the project, an encouragement for users to navigate through LA traffic to each and every one of the works. The app is additionally host to HYPERMEDIA, a digital art space that complements the physicality of the billboards. HYPERMEDIA will feature artists and thinkers that work in digital spaces, and is debuting its platform with the work of Dutch composer and artist Zeno van den Broek.

Below, take a virtual drive through LA with a selection of this year’s art billboards.

BillboardCreative2016_1207_144804-9445_SAG copy 2.jpgBillboardCreative2016_1207_155348-9505_SAG.jpgAlex+Prager++copy+copy.jpgMaxine_Helfman.jpgBillboardCreative2016_1207_152753-9478_SAG.jpgBillboardCreative2016_1207_125537-9406_SAG.jpgBillboardCreative2016_1209_150724-9594_SAG.jpgBillboardCreative2016_1207_163314-9540_SAG.jpgBillboardCreative2016_1207_132845-9422_SAG.jpgBillboardCreative2016_1207_143717-9433_SAG copy.jpg

Read more about the project on The Billboard Creative’s website.  

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