Artists Reclaim the City's Illegal Billboards

By Brian Ries
|  Monday, Apr 27, 2009  |  Updated 2:42 PM EDT
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Artists Reclaim the City's Illegal Billboards

Will Sherman c/o Animal NY

Photo by Will Sherman/ANIMALnewyork.com

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Have you noticed a heck of a lot more street art this morning on the billboards where ads used to be?

That's because dozens of volunteers fanned out across lower Manhattan Saturday morning to white-wash 120 illegal billboards, as part of Jordan Seilder's "New York Street Advertising Takeover." There was remarkably only one arrest, as the volunteers - the majority of them artists - painted over billboards not registered with the city and later "transform[ed] the newly created public canvasses into works of art."

And if you're asking why so many illegal billboards exist, Wooster Collective notes, "While illegal, these violations are not being prosecuted by the City of New York, allowing the billboard companies to garner huge profits by cluttering our outdoor space with intrusive and ugly ads." Both Wooster Collective and Animal New York have photo galleries from the day.

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