Advertisements are a fact of life in this day and age. Whether you’re cruising through the web or strolling along the avenue, you are bound to see beautiful faces and sexy products trying to entice you. We’ve become so used to this bombardment of stimuli that we automatically sweep them into our peripheral vision. However, there’s an artist who turned these advertisements—especially bus stop posters—into public art, and encourages us to view them in a different way.
Michael De Feo is a street artist who has received acclaim for his Summer Window series, in which he paints flowers on bus stop advertisements. The gorgeous floral colors and patterns invade the poster canvas, but not in an overly-invasive manner. It’s a preview of what the world would look like if we all dropped dead and our civilization came to a halt–the sophisticated giving way to the natural elements. The sleek products which we regarded as important become ghostly visions, and yet De Feo’s flowers retain its liveliness.
Michael De Feo is a legend in the street art world and has been embraced by the same industry that paid thousands of dollars for the advertising campaigns. It’s hard to hate on the well-executed and balanced artwork of De Feo. The flower paintings and the advertisement photos work as a kind of symbiosis, neither one taking the spotlight despite his paintings’ striking color palate.
The prolific artist has been producing street art since the early 1990s and has expanded his project to over 60 cities around the world, including New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Amsterdam, Paris, Venice, Buenos Aires, and Hong Kong. De Feo has been profiled by New York Magazine and interviewed by The New York Times.
The Rice Gallery will premiere his exhibition Crosstown Traffic on June 9. The opening celebration will take place between 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Mr. De Feo will also hold a talk and luncheon at noon on June 10, where he will discuss his artistic vision, work process and upcoming projects.