Public Space Reclaiming Cabal Whitewashes Illegal Ad Spots

04.25.09 Bucky Turco

On Saturday, Public Ad Campaign’s Jordan Seiler organized a massive ad space takeover in Manhattan and Brooklyn. The target: NPAs illegal outdoor billboards. They’re the main company that wheatpastes up promotional posters for various brands or what’s known in the industry as wild postings. According to Seiler, the Department of Buildings informed him that many of the locations operated by the outdoor advertising outfit are unlawful and although there’s occasional arrests, the city mostly ignores the law breaking executions. So starting around 11AM, a total of 26 whitewashers (including this very editor, shout out to Team 10: JustSeeds & AnerA), were broken into groups and provided with paint, orange worker vests, and maps. In total we covered 120 of the 132 locations planned in Chelsea, West Village, Chinatown, East Village, Lower East Side, and Williamsburg.

A second wave of approximately 50 artists then moved into to take advantage and beautify the newly created public canvasses. Unfortunately, every battle has its casualties, and one team of buffers was arrested. But overall, Seiler was happy with the outcome: “It was a complete success and we’ll be fighting the arrests in court.” Click through the reclamation gallery above for a small sampling and stay tuned for part two tomorrow: the artistry. And here it is: Artist Horde Turns Newly Whitewashed Billboards Into Public Canvasses

Photos: Bucky Turco