Launching Public Art Fund’s 40th anniversary season, the citywide exhibition Commercial Break celebrates and expands upon Public Art Fund’s commitment to media-based artwork. The show is inspired by Public Art Fund’s seminal exhibition Messages to the Public, which ran on the 800-square-foot animated Spectacolor light board in Times Square from 1982 to 1990 and displayed artworks by 70 figures including Guerrilla Girls, David Hammons, David Wojnarowicz, Lorna Simpson, Alfredo Jaar, Keith Haring, and Jenny Holzer (her first large-scale LED work). Similarly disrupting the daily flow of advertising that regularly saturates the urban landscape, Commercial Break invites a new generation of artists to create interventions utilizing the latest digital advertising across New York City. These brief interruptions on some of the city’s most highly visible and technically advanced screens will explore issues relevant to the current moment, such as the intersection between technology, culture, and communication; the proliferation of images in our daily lives; and contemporary notions of public vs. private.
Sites for the exhibition include a large billboard in Times Square near the site of the original Spectacolor board; Barclays Center’s “Oculus,” a one-of-a-kind 3,000 square foot, 360-degree LED marquee, which hangs above the main entrance to the arena in Prospect Height; 19 digital screens at Westfield World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan; hundreds of LinkNYC’s Link kiosks in all five boroughs; and PublicArtFund.org, where the work will be embedded as a pop-up “ad”.
Commercial Break artists include:
• Times Square: Cory Arcangel, Korakrit Arunanondchai, Brian Bress, Sue de Beer, Mary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley, Heather Phillipson, and Martine Syms
• Barclays Center: Meriem Bennani, Kate Cooper, Cecile B. Evans, GCC, Agnieszka Polska, Tabor Robak, and Jacolby Satterwhite
• Westfield World Trade Center: Hayal Pozanti
• LinkNYC: Lucas Blalock, Antoine Catala and Gabriel Kahan, Awol Erizku, Ed Fornieles, David Horvitz, Britta Thie, and Hannah Whitaker
• PublicArtFund.org: Casey Jane Ellison