Ever wondered what happens to Kate Moss once the latest Calvin Klein billboard campaign is torn down? She’s tossed into a landfill where she’ll spend the rest of her days emitting toxins. End of story. Or rather it was — until a frugal art curator decided to do something about it.
Sickened by the waste generated by billboards, Peter Schulberg decided to fight like with like. He commissioned local artists to paint art on recycled billboards and create his own (environmental) campaign. His mission: to raise awareness about dumping toxic PVC vinyl. It can’t be destroyed, but it can be recycled.
Premiering on Earth Day Eve, April 21st 2007, five 14 x 48 recycled art works strategically placed around Los Angeles were viewed by an estimated 250,000 motoring Angelenos daily. Happily, the vinyl canvases proved to be perfectly suited to their outdoor environment, showing no signs of wear and tear.
The idea of transforming old billboards into works of art struck Peter a few years back after learning that literally tons of billboard advertising were being tossed into landfills every year. After some experimentation with canvas stretching, Peter advertised for local artists willing to work for free on this brave, new medium. While some artists opted for a ‘blank canvas’ by painting on the back of an old billboard, others decided to incorporate the existing image into their new piece.
If you missed the billboard campaign, fear not. Peter also owns the Eco-logical Art Gallery in Los Angeles – a unique indoor/outdoor art experience all painted on recycled billboard vinyl.
And finally, don’t worry about Kate… with some artistic re-interpretation, she may just get a new lease of life.