Jennifer Jacobs artwork during the New York Street Advertising Takeover
Photos from Wooster Collective

On April 25 an occasion called the New York Street Advertising Takeover created by artist/activist of public spaces Jordan Seiler created an opportunity that brought out around 80 of the city’s top street and graffiti artists as they reclaimed some 120 illegal advertising billboards across the city. Jordan created NYSAT when discovering that there were literally hundreds of billboards in his city that were illegal yet still allowed companies to use them and clutter outdoor public space for their advertising needs.

The concept centers around culture jamming and the idea that many companies consider advertising as not being pollution to the public (because it’s supposedly paid for) while street art is considered “pollution” because it’s created on unpaid for public spaces. The irony of course is that while street and graffiti artists are often harassed by authorities many top corporations have been seeking out such artists to incorporate into their advertising and marketing campaigns in order to achieve a new level of credibility with today’s youth culture -a demographic that looks at many street and graffiti artists as cultural icons creating works that actually resonate with their own sense of creativity and aesthetic.

Artwork by Gaia and Rachel

Last Saturday the NYSAT crew spent the day reforming the illegal ad billboard spaces by whitewashing them and then re-using the spaces for creative pieces of work. The results of course were many very creative and interesting public displays that provided fresh inspiration color and ideas in pockets across the city giving old structures new information and identities towards becoming something altogether new.

Jordan explains in detail his public ad campaign concepts including an entire map of lower Manhattan where many of the illegal billboards are located. Look for more pics video documentary and maps from Jordan at: coming soon.

Artwork by Ji Lee