Art Everywhere turns UK’s streets into world’s largest art show
Project launched in shopping mall displays artists’ most popular works on bus stops and tube stations
8 August 2013
From a Bacon on a bus to a Hockney on your hackney, the world’s largest art show has been launched – not at an esteemed gallery, but at a shopping centre.
The pop art master Sir Peter Blake unveiled a giant digital version of his work The Meeting or Have a Nice Day, Mr Hockney at west London’s Westfield centre, the first of 22,000 advertising sites across the UK that, from Monday and for the next fortnight, will feature 57 popular works of art.
Alongside him, Cornelia Parker, whose Cold Dark Matter was voted the 10th most popular work by online voters on the Art Everywhere website, rejoiced in being not only the only living artist in the top 10, but the only woman to boot.
Since Toulouse Lautrec in 19th century Paris was commissioned by the Moulin Rouge to design posters promoting the bohemian nightclub, advertising has turned to great art to promote products.
Now advertisers are repaying – to the tune of more than £3m – by donating printed poster sites and digital screens across the UK to celebrate art for art’s sake.
The Art Everywhere project – organised by Richard Reed, co-founder of Innocent drinks, but the brainchild of his wife, Melinda – will see artworks on billboards, bus stops, major roads, tube, train and metro stations, shopping malls and office buildings, among other sites. Some 2,000 London buses and 1,000 black cabs will transport the artworks around London.
Photograph: Queen Portrait, Sir Peter Blake