Art with a history.
You can speculate. You can imagine.
Or just love it for what it is now.
Wallflowers of the American roadside, billboards generally get passed by with barely a glance. Yet these ubiquitous, culturally saturated blends of words and pictures are begging to be encountered, de-constructed and re-evaluated.
Reinterpreted, this found material re-emeres as something entirely different. Elements of the original composition are isolated. Beauty surfaces as bits and pieces are re-united in a fresh way or introduced to each other for the very first time. It's the same voice, but a different language. One more refined. More alluring.
Uprooted from their intended context, these graphics unexpectedly assume a new identity. As art. Art that unites the aesthetic values of design with environmental preservation and cultural recollection. Rather than adding to the ever-accumulating waste in our throw-away society, they are re-composed and re-configured, revealing layers of meaning.
Parse into smaller pieces, the original roadside enticements play a new audience indoors. They find renewed purpose, showcasing the nuance of a piece of typography, the grain of an image or of sharply rendered silk screen in endless iterations. No longer merely peripheral, they become focal points. Fodder for contemplation. A uniquely personalized statement of self-expression.
One day I'm opening a crate. The next, I'm opening a business. Ok. So it wasn't literally the next day, but inspiration can be funny that way. It can come from the humblest of places. A wooden crate was the lightning bold for me. The spark for this work. It wasn't so much the crate itself, but rather the packing material inside - which sounds equally yawn-worthy. But this wasn't your basic craft paper or bubble wrap. It was better. Way better.
It was art wrapped in...well, art. At the time, I was working for a museum, framing artwork. As I was unwrapping the art, I was struck by the boldness of the highly pixilated colors and patterns. Not in the art - but on the packing paper. It was overstocked, expired billboard paper originally intended to be appreciated from afar, at a certain speed no less. And I suddenly had a front row seat. Seeing it up close for the first time, I found myself blown away by the scale and graphic quality of the images, and the new perspective got me thinking.
So culturally saturated and visually arresting, this found material deserved a second look - a second life - as original art. Together, the billboards and I have embarked on an exciting adventure. And the rest, as they say, is history.