Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Seen from my window: painted ad on building at 8th ave & 34th st

The building at 494 (or 496) 8th Avenue on 34th Street, just past Madison Square Garden, displays ads on its south side. I assume the space is owned by Lamar given the painted Lamar label beneath the ads. What makes the ads special are their size, at least 10 stories high, and they aren't factory-made posters draped on the building; they're painted by hand using the pulley-operated platforms used by window washers.

According to this website, ""The Wall" is the largest painted wall ad in New York City. Located at 496 8th Avenue, at 34th Street, this 8-story building overlooks the heavily trafficked area of Penn Station and Madison Square Garden. [Note: Just counting the floors on the adjacent buildings as a yardstick shows the ad takes up more than 8 stories.] On a clear day, the billboard can be seen from 20 blocks down 8th Avenue. It is 225 feet high and 95 feet wide. It's stated that a half ton of enamel paint is used in each mural. It costs upwards of $175,000/month for advertisers to rent the space. Most murals use 4 painters and can take up to 12 days to paint each mural. Most murals remain for 1-3 months before design/advertisers change."

I think every ad is an over-sized work of art that exceeds highly acclaimed modern art. Yet the ads are taken for granted as part of the NYC midtown landscape.



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