Posterchild did quite a few digital billboard alterations during his stay in New York last year (including one very special one), but this might be our favorite. The face is of Star Fox character Andross. Even if, like me, you have no idea who it is, it’s pretty damn cool looking!
Toronto artist Posterchild recently took a break from installing art in NYC phone booths to propose to his girlfriend. He popped the the question by appropriating a sign reserved for ad space above a Manhattan subway stop. Posterchild writes:
She thought she was just helping me out with another street art project; I kept this covered until after it was installed and after the unveiling I was expecting some kind of reaction- but it took a little while to convince her that this was a proposal for real, and not just some art project!
And she said yes! Congrats!
New York City has had a ton of phone booth art this fall. Lately it seems like you can’t go for a walk without seeing a great piece by an artist like Jordan Seiler. The above was done by Toronto’s Posterchild, who’s been hanging out in NYC quite a bit lately.
I love these unauthorized projects because they’re turning useless eyesores into art. There are certain city blocks in NY that have upwards of 10 public telephones. When is the last time anyone used a payphone? I understand their utility for those who can’t afford or happen to be without a cell phone, but really, do we need multiple phones on every corner? These structures are simply huts to cash in on advertising dollars, and they needlessly pollute the scenery of our streets.
Here’s a great NY Times article from 2007 that explains that pay phone advertising rakes in $62 million a year: As Billboards, Public Phones Always Work.
Also of note, you can see both Seiler and Posterchild, along with Jason Eppink and Specter, speak about their work on Friday, November 20 out in Astoria — details here.
We think this project by Toronto street artist Posterchild is pretty damn clever. He’s taken the empty flyer boxes littering the city streets and turned them into planters.
I’ve always been amazed by the state of most flyerboxes. More often that not, they are empty. Some haven’t been filled in years. Yet, there they are: everywhere in the city- at every intersection. Taking up valuable sidewalk space. Some are supposed to offer free news and culture print publications that make revenue from ads, some are supposed to offer free junk-mail type publications, with the expectation that someone will stop and take one completely beyond me. A rare few are supposed to offer a free publication of a certain political or religious leaning- probably bankrolled by whatever church or group can finance the publication of that message. For whatever reason, a great many of them offer nothing but an empty box.
But that offers a great opportunity for some people!
Graffiti artists love them as a platform for their stickers and tags. People with trash but nowhere to put it love them as a makeshift receptacle for garbage.
I tried to think of better ways than “Garbage Can” to re-imagine the interior spaces of these flyerboxes- better ways to make use of the whole box- not just the exterior walls.
This is what I came up with. I think it’s pretty great, if I do say so myself. The boxes makes a perfect platform for planters- and with them you can guerrilla garden almost anywhere in the inhospitable concrete city! Best of all, it leaves the sides open for writers and artists.
…and with this “impending collapse of print media”? You may just see these appearing in old, abandoned Newspaper boxes.
See more photos: Flyerplanterboxes
You might also enjoy this similar project, also from Toronto, Poster Pocket Plants. Advertising posters are converted into planters.
Is Toronto the guerrilla gardening capital of the world?
Here’s the deal: There’s a company called National Public Advertising Outdoor that puts up advertisements on sides of buildings and other public places in New York and other big cities. The ads they put up are illegal. They do not have a permit. They city is not getting paid. Instead, they pay the landlords of the buildings they use. Citizens are forced to look at advertising all over NYC because this company has illegally plastered their ads all over town. For whatever reason, the city looks the other way and rarely cracks down on them.
This spring, Jordan from The Public Ad Campaign blog organized a massive grassroots retaliation against the illegal billboards. See our coverage here and here. In short, an army of artists whitewashed 120 different illegal billboards and replaced them with art. NPA Outdoor was furious and sent out teams to put their ads back up in a matter of hours. A few artists even got arrested after being caught in the act by police.
Since the takeover, NPA Outdoor has added a new notice to all of their billboard sites. As you can see in the photo above, it reads, “Coming soon to this location: a chance to win these posters and other prizes inside.” They are trying to find a loophole in their bullshit illegal business. It’s illegal for a landlord to put an advertisement on the side of his building, but it’s not illegal to put up a sign advertising products that are for sale inside. So by putting up this bullshit notice that claims you can win the posters inside the store, NPA is trying to get around the law. They’re smart to add the phrase “coming soon,” because if you go in ANY of the stores that have this notice, you’ll find that there are no posters. It’s all bullshit. I’ve personally asked people in a half-dozen stores for more information on “winning” the posters and every clerk has looked at me like I was an idiot. They had no idea what I was talking about, because there is no drawing for posters. It’s bullshit.
Why won’t the city crack down on New York’s true graffiti problem?
Posterchild recently added some accurate plant labels to abandoned planter boxes in Toronto. He writes:
What are we sowing? What have we planted? It seems like we forget unless it’s labeled.
This is an attempt to highlight the “obvious-yet-invisible”, to encourage/shame municipal authorities into doing some real gardening with their many derelict planter boxes.
It is also meant to inspire Guerrilla Gardeners to take action of their own!!
Tons of documentation is coming in from last month’s incredible New York Street Advertising Takeover, where hoards of artists and every day people came together to reclaim the streets by covering over 120 of New York’s illegal billboards with art. The project was organized by the Public Ad Campaign. Check out these three videos from the project: