Billboards with Photos of the Natural Scenery They’re Blocking

Need a last-minute gift? Order a Smith subscription now & receive a free e-mag to print out & put under the tree

Billboards with Photos of the Natural Scenery They’re Blocking

Friday October 05, 2018 Written by Ronan

The U.S. is home to a staggering half a million billboards, with up to 40 new ones erected every day. Depending on your perspective, these monoliths either rudely interrupt the view, or provide a welcome distraction along the country’s infamously long highways.

Artist Jennifer Bolande seems to have figured that if you can’t beat ’em, you may as well co-opt them. And so she purchased billboard spaces across California’s Coachella desert, and plastered them with carefully aligned photographs of the very landscapes they usually block.

Bolande’s work joins a growing body of art that refigures the advertising space into something that might make you think, rather than reach for your wallet. Previous examples include Brian Kane’s cleverly adaptive digital billboards, Sussanna Battin’s Window, and the ongoing culture-jamming of Adbusters and the Billboard Liberation Front.  

Drivers can enjoy Bolande’s billboards until April 30, when they will revert back to their original, view-blocking forms.