A Concept for a gallery show inspires one street artist to try an on-the-street experiment.
Billi Kid recently completed his version of a shoe-shine box to contribute to the unusual show that Bed-Stuy gallery Brooklynite opens next week, and he decided to take his box a step further.
The 100 artists, mostly street artists, have created their own version of a shoe-shine box, a metaphor for the entrepreneurial spirit. “Having been born in a third world country, Colombia, I have seen many a kid making a living shining shoes,” says Billi. “They hustle a modest living out of their shoeshine boxes. It is a testament to the human will to survive that these kids stretch their craft day and night to simply put food on their table. That is, if they even have a table.”
Billi Kid is a bit of an entrepreneur himself so he used his shine box on the street to sell some of his artwork. In New York City, as a result of street artists winning a fight with the Giuliani administration in the late 1990’s to sell their art on the streets, you are allowed set up a table and sell your own artwork without fear of reprisal.
“I took Brooklynite’s challenge to heart and set out to see if I could actually put food on the table working out of my “SHINEBOX,” says the artist. Taking into account overhead costs for creating his postcards, “I figured that I would need to sell at least 16 postcards per hour @ a $1.00 each to make $8.00 dollars in profit an hour.”
Traffic was pretty good on his spot near the park, and a number of people stopped to look at his signature political-personality postcards featuring the likes of George Bush, Sara Palin, and Michelle Obama. Within a couple of hours, 20 postcards of Billi Kid’s had sold, and the short-lived experiment ended up with Billi and his cameraman in a nearby pizza joint eating the profits. Luckily, there was money left for the subway home.
AND HE MADE A PROMOTIONAL VIDEO WITH THE EXPERIENCE
More on Billi’s experiment Here