September 6, 2010

Hiding Bhillboards In NYC?

Our friend TastyKeish had a conversation with New York City, visual artist Bobby Hill about his art and this interesting thing he's been doing the entire all summer. Hiding art for you to find in New York.

You're this awesome artist that I met while you were selling your prints down in Williamsburg. I had no idea you were this international phenom until I got home (with two of your awesome pieces) and googled you! Do you surprise people like that often?

Phenom…thanks, I’ll take it. Yeah, I’ve been told that I surprise people before. It’s not that I plan it like that, it’s just that a lot of times I don’t really think about all the stuff I’ve done. To me you’re only as good as your last painting/ hit etc. It’s really about what’s next and what I’m doing as I move forward.

Every time I see you, you always ask me what I think and my opinions of how you can improve... Do you find that when an artist reaches a certain amount of acclaim that they shy away from people or are closed off to what people think? What makes you different (or similar)?

In regards to whether or not artists shy away from people when they reach a certain acclaim, I think that everyone is different. Some artists might be like that while others are different. As an artist, it’s definitely easy to get caught up in your own world of making pictures etc and losing touch with reality. That’s just part of the zoning out/ creative process. I’ve definitely lost touch with reality a couple times as I was making art before. That’s why I now make it a point to be out in public and to hold conversations with others on a regular basis.

You have this crazy contest going right now, "Bhillboards" where you've hidden 1,000 one of a kind pieces of art all over NYC for people to find. What is "Bhillboards" about? And why hide and seek?

Bhillboards is actually the name of the show. I don’t even have an official name for the art hide n seek. Naming it Bhillboards is not a bad idea though.

I first played around with the idea of art in the streets during the late 1990’s. From time to time I would leave prints of my art in the phone booths around NYC with my name and “beeper number” written on the back (it sounds funny now, but that’s what we were using at the time). When people found them, they beeped me and I would call them back. They would tell me they found my work and ask if they should return it. I always told them to keep it as a gift.

Years later in 2008, while visiting London, there was an artist doing something similar to what I did in the 90’s. That event brought back memories and I told myself that the next show I had, I would do it again on grand scale as promotion for the show. This time I would make 1000 pieces with each one being an original and hide them around the city for the duration of a month or longer. This has never been done before to my knowledge.

The next show I had was at a sneaker store in Harlem called The Vault, so I proceeded to make a bunch of Multiple Originals featuring an image of Muhammad Ali sitting in a bank vault, to leave around NYC. However, I underestimated the time necessary to pull it off correctly so I had a lot of pieces left over. Fast forward to 2010... The Bhillboards event is on 9/11 and I’m finally executing the plan that first began as an idea in the 90’s. This promotional event is unlike anything that has done before. It goes on for a month’s time and every piece is an original.

If someone finds a Bhillboard, how should they go about claiming it? What if someone thinks they're stealing? :)

That’s funny. First off... Congratulations to anyone who is lucky enough to find one in this big city of New York. All they have to do is save it and bring it to the show with the raffle ticket still attached and get it signed. Hopefully nobody thinks they’re stealing.

Can you give me a clue where I can find my own Bhillboard? ;)

Yes, There are 1000 works of art on corrugated cardboard being placed throughout the NYC train system and streets of Soho, the Lower East Side, the Meatpacking District, Chelsea, Harlem, Williamsburg and Bushwick. Me and a couple friends of mine have been hiding them since early July. We will continue until Fashion’s Night Out . Then the show is the following night on September 11th.

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