How Many Billboards? Art In Stead

Artwork replaces ads on billboards in Los Angeles


All images by Gerard Smulevich

On the heels of Via, the latest project to hit Los Angeles’ public spaces is How Many Billboards?, an earnest strategy by MAK Center for Art and Architecture at the Schindler House bringing art into the everyday discourse. Until the end of March 2010, L.A. will see 21 artworks on billboards spread across areas in and around Hollywood, West Hollywood, Culver City, Westwood and Silverlake.

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In the works since 2006, for the project to happen MAK Center relied on prominent billboard companies to donate space and then commissioned artists like Michael Asher, Kenneth Anger and Renee Green to create thought-provoking images.


In a city where conflicts between the local government, residents and billboard companies are ongoing, “How Many Billboards?” co-curator and MAK Center Director Kimberli Meyer points out that the difference between public art such as murals and image heavy advertisements is not clearly defined. L.A. has gone through temporary bans keeping new billboards from going up, and outdoor artwork gets lumped in.

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The show will be accompanied by guided bus tours, film and video screenings, as well as panel discussions and lectures. Check the website for more details, including a map of where each of the billboards is located and the artists’ statements about their work.