When one thinks about art, the typical image is of a handful of paintings in a gallery that are impossible to look at due simply to the price of entering the gallery. An elitist group of ‘artistes’ dominate a self-aggrandizing field where even the most profound artists have trouble breaking on to the scene. Urban art, in conjunction with the city of Birmingham looks to change all of that with a whole new idea of what the words “ArtGallery” mean.
Across the streets all overBirmingham, sixty billboards will feature important national and international urban artists’ most provocative work. The communities that the art will be featured in will be asked to be involved in its creation. The city wide outdoor gallery promises to bring the art to the people, and make them see something other than advertisements, which are currently the most prevalent decoration most cities have today.
Birmingham’s idea for this project is revolutionary in theUnited Kingdom, as no sort of art display of this magnitude has ever been done in the country. Professor Chris O’Neil, Executive Dean of Birmingham Institute of Art & Design said: “Every major city in the world is dominated by advertising, the project has been created with the objective to transform the everyday into the extraordinary. We’re delighted to have Xu Zhen and Raqs Media on board, who will undoubtedly produce some truly spectacular pieces of visual art.”
Birmingham’s ideal of making more accessible, more enjoyable artwork promises to revitalize the city and its residences.