Those of you that have read my book Paintwork will know that the title story is about re-purposing advertising billboards for art – in fact you might recall that I described pretty specifically the location of the billboards in question. They are real things, in a very real place. I walk past them everyday. That’s why I wrote that story – I felt I needed some way of striking back against the visual invasion of public space I’m subjected to every time I walk past there. Billboards are imposing enough when you see them from a passing bus or car, but the way they impose and dominate your reality – blocking out all other imagery – as you pass them as a pedestrian starts to grate pretty quickly.
So it was some surprise and delight this week that I passed one of the billboards – in fact the very one that is first mentioned in Paintwork – to find that someone had re-puposed it. Turns out it’s the work of billboard artist Robert Montgomery. From what I know of him he doesn’t seem to be based in Bristol and he’s done a few of these across the country, so it seems like a brilliant coincidence that he picked this board to do it it on, but i’m sure that’s all it is. Either way it’s made my walk to the day job slightly more bearable.
Photos stolen from Brandalism.