Right now, we are all living in the largest art gallery on the Planet. All over the UK, over 22,000 poster sites that normally promote products that give you big white teeth and smouldering sexy eyes have been repurposed, and for two weeks these sites will be displaying the best of Britain’s art collection.
If you haven’t heard, here’s a quick explanation. This week saw the launch of the Art Everywhere project. It’s the brainchild of Richard Reed, the wonderful man who gave us the glorious, if pricey, innocent smoothies. He convinced the companies who own advertising space to give it away for free, got big names like the Art Fund, Tate, Posterscope and Vizeum (to name but a few) on side, and members of the public all donated towards the printing costs of these posters.
During a digital age, in which works of art can be viewed online, galleries provide tours via Twitter and the definition of art itself is being completely rewritten, this project is making a pretty big statement by being so understated. Pictures were chosen, not because of their message but because people liked them. They are being displayed in places for little other reason than it’s where people can see it, and enjoy looking at it.
Art Everywhere is replacing the consumerist images we are all so used to confronting daily, with works of art we can appreciated for their aesthetic beauty. There is no single cause being promoted (except maybe the abstracted concept of “art” or galleries in general) but rather just an opportunity for people to look at a picture and just say hey, that’s lovely.
With the integration of augmented reality technology as well, these poster sites are providing a doorway into galleries and further art education. Using the ‘blippar’ smartphone app, you can find out more about the work itself, the gallery it’s from and you can share your find with everyone you know via social media. As this year progresses you’ll find out that the marriage of art and technology is one of this editor’s passions, and this project presents a new dawn of interaction with art, which we should all be genuinely excited about.
Art will be everywhere until the 25th August, and with a projected audience of 90% of the UK’s adult population, you’ll struggle to miss it. Hit up arteverywhere.org.uk to find out more, and search your phone’s app store to install Blippar.