Although the Oil Age hasn’t ended yet, the first petrol stations are being left empty. This development leads to new chances for urban transformation. That’s what renowned Irish street artist Maser must have thought when he transformed a derelict gas station in the city of Limerick into a colorful piece of art.
The artwork’s name No.27: A Nod to Ed Ruscha refers to Ed Ruscha’s pop art masterpiece Standard Station, Amarillo, Texas from 1963. Besides this art-historian flirtation, Maser’s intervention is also just beautiful to see. The old gas station has become a landmark to the city at a place that once was just a regular everyday service spot for car drivers.
The bright and shiny colors make the restyled gas station really stand out from the surrounding landscape. The artist explained to a local newspaper that he “creates work that surprises people and questions their relationship with the familiar and the norm, also how dissociated we are from the space around us”.
According to This Is Money, the amount of gas stations on the British isles is diminishing at a dramatic pace. This is not the consequence of a decrease in car use or the rise of the electric car, as we might think (or wish). Car use and fuel consumption, to the contrary, reach all-time highs in this region of Europe. The actual reason are the increasing numbers of supermarket gas stations owned by brands such as Tesco, Asda and Morrisons. Small local filling stations can’t compete with the new players in the fuel market and have no other choice than to stop their business. The result is a massive amount of derelict petrol stations all over Britain and Ireland, and a huge urge to come up with ideas to re-use these, often heavily polluted, spots.
Years ago we already covered a story about a gas station in London that was transformed into a temporary pop-up cinema, and a story about a gas station in Amsterdam that was turned into a light installation and event space. This painting project doesn’t add a new function but it adds style instead, while creating a new remarkable spot in the city.