This was posted a week or so ago by Steven Heller and I thought I would share it with the Lark Crafts readers. “Up There” spotlights the modern resurgence of hand-painted billboard advertisements. In the digital age this is a dying craft – the ability to print and install very large scale, vinyl graphics in a short amount of time has all but made the old sign and billboard painters obsolete. “Up There” documents a handful of devoted and very talented artists who are keeping the art form alive, high above the streets of New York City, and cities worldwide.
Watching this film reminded me of one of my favorite pop artists, James Rosenquist, who, before becoming a fine art painter, was a painter for advertisements and large-scale billboards. He transferred the craft of painting advertisements into his fine art, mashing and layering imagery into a surreal, but realistically rendered landscape of media overload and mass consumption, blurring the lines between advertising and fine art.
While on the subject of murals and line blurring, check out the Love Letter project. These type heavy murals mix vintage typography and layouts with very clever messages causing the residents of Philly to question whether they are looking at and advertisement, a city mural, or graffiti.