Brandalism: Artists take back the streets, one billboard at a time

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The war against advertising has recently taken an interesting turn, with 26 artists from 8 countries, traveling across the UK for 5 days, subverting billboard advertising.

Called Brandalism, or “Taking the piss with a point”, it is a clever mix of vandalism, graffiti and art, and is a direct attack on the corporate branding which has become such a blight on our landscape.

‘Following on from the guerilla art traditions of the 20th Century and taking inspiration from the Dadaists, Situationists and Street Art movements, the Brandalism project will see the largest reclamation of outdoor advertising space in UK history as artists challenge the authority and legitimacy of the advertising industry. We are tired of being shouted at by adverts on every street corner so we decided to get together with some friends from around the world and start to take them back, one billboard at a time…....’

Brandalist work includes a reworked Manchester United soccer player, Wayne Rooney lifting the rewards of looting; health warnings placed on car adverts; knife crime underlining trainer wars; campaigns against the London Olympics reclamation of land. These are powerful and thought-provoking works that engage directly with their audience, which seek “to confront the ad industry and take back our visual landscapes.” Below is a selection of some of the artists’ work taken from the Brandalism site. I say, more power to them.

Find out more about Brandalism and the artists here.
 
 
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More works of Brandalism, after the jump…
 
With thanks to Scheme Comix
 

Written by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
Princess Hijab - Graffiti Artist
11.11.2010
05:00 am

Topics:
Pop Culture

Tags:
Paris
Graffiti
Princess Hijab

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Princess Hijab is a graffiti artist who daubs hijabs and burkas on advertising posters in the Paris Metro, as today’s Guardian reports:

Princess (Hijab)winds through the corridors of Havre-Caumartin sizing up the advertising posters lining the walls. She has agreed to meet as she scours stations for targets for her next “niqab intervention”. In Spandex tights, shorts and a hoodie, with a long black wig totally obscuring her face, one thing is clear; the twentysomething doesn’t wear the niqab that has become her own signature. She won’t say if she’s a Muslim. In fact, it’s more than likely that Princess Hijab isn’t even a woman. There’s a low note in her laughter, a slight broadness to her shoulders. But the androgynous figure in black won’t confirm a gender. “The real identity behind Princess Hijab is of no importance,” says the husky voice behind the wig. “The imagined self has taken the foreground, and anyway it’s an artistic choice.”

“I started doing this when I was 17,” she says (I’ll stick to “she” as the character is female, even if the person behind it is perhaps not).

“I’d been working on veils, making Spandex outfits that enveloped bodies, more classic art than fashion. And I’d been drawing veiled women on skate-boards and other graphic pieces, when I felt I wanted to confront the outside world. I’d read Naomi Klein’s No Logo and it inspired me to risk intervening in public places, targeting advertising.”

The Princess’s first graffiti veil was in 2006, the “niqabisation” of the album poster of France’s most famous female rapper, Diam’s, who by strange coincidence has now converted to Islam herself. “It’s intriguing because she’s now wearing the veil,” the Princess muses. Intially she graffitied men, women and children and then would stand around to gauge the public’s response; now she does hit-and-runs. “I don’t care about people’s reactions. I can see this makes people feel awkward and ill at ease, I can understand that, you’re on your way home after a tough day and suddenly you’re confronted with this.”

 
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Via the Guardian
 
More work by Princess Hijab after the jump…
 

Written by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
A Ghost Town In Belgium Becomes A Canvas For Graffiti Artists
07.30.2010
02:07 am

Topics:
Art
Pop Culture

Tags:
Art
Graffiti
Belgium

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Doel, Belgium, a town known mostly for it’s proximity to nuclear reactors, has become a virtual ghost town. Fortunately, radiation didn’t figure into Doel’s fate.  The townspeople of Doel were forced to move in order to accommodate the expansion of Antwerp harbor. Other than a handful of diehard citizens, a few businesses, and squatters, the town is uninhabited and will soon be demolished. In the meantime, Doel has become a huge canvas for artists. Cesare Santorini made this short film documenting the incredible and ephemeral street art of Doel.

I wish Santorini’s choice of music in this video had been better. You may want to turn down the volume.

 

Written by Marc Campbell | Discussion
Animation: Five Years of Graffiti Outside Serge Gainsbourg’s Home
11.25.2009
09:21 am

Topics:
Art
Music

Tags:
Serge Gainsbourg
Graffiti
Rue de Verneuil
Written by Tara McGinley | Discussion