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Brooklyn Street Art

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OX Takes Over Billboards With Humor and Disarming Simplicity

Posted on July 30, 2012

As free standing well placed street furniture, commercial billboards provide their own framing device for anyone who would like to communicate their message and increasingly their use in the public sphere is being debated. Billboard “takeovers” have often been the purview of “culture jammers” or “ad busters” since at least the 1970s, where the intent is to hijack the original commercial message to illuminate a social or political one. In more recent years a number of more traditional artists have been simply reclaiming this private message space as a canvas, an opportunity to display a bit of individual creativity.

OX in Troyes, France. July 2012. (photo © OX)

In new billboard takeovers from French Street Artist OX, the billboard is part of a visual conversation with its environment. Other times his geometric simplicity stands on its own without commentary but typically his ingenious incorporation of context brings the simple takeover to serve a higher purpose than drawing attention to itself. By treating the billboard as an element in a holistic field of play, a passerby may see everything around it in a new perspective, or see it for the first time. Without lecturing, this visual humorist opens the conversation about the appropriate use of public space for messages, and art.

OX in Troyes, France. July 2012. (photo © OX)

OX in Brooklyn. Spring 2010. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

OX in Brooklyn. Spring 2010. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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