We’re pretty big fans of the ironic interventions of the French street artist OX, so it was a pleasure to hear that publishing house International Neighborhood Verlag has released the first comprehensive monograph on his work.
Given the fact that OX has been working in street art for more than 30 years, it’s very astounding that this monograph is his first publication. The Paris-based artist is most famous for transforming billboards into impressive artworks with geometric abstraction or dreamy surreality, but always interacting with their surroundings. OX says his work requires him to be a hunter and a collector — he is always looking for the perfect placard surface. When he discovers a place meeting his criteria, he investigates, very intensively, the location, its surroundings and context which can be from a couple of days up to months at a time. It also happens that he sees an advertisement and re-uses its design to serve as a basis for a transformation, or he already has a specific idea in mind and ‘just’ has to find the perfect location to carry it out.
The book OX: Public Posters, which contains French, German and English texts, doesn’t only showcase the wide variety of creative interventions the artist has carried out in the last years — it also features a very personal interview with OX in which he explains where he comes from, why and when he chose to work with billboards, what his work and preparation looks like, and what his inspiration and drive is.
The photographs depicted in the book all show public billboards he transformed between the years 2000 and 2014 and are part of his private collection. That is all that is left from his artwork due to the fleeting properties of his medium of choice, since he never knows exactly when the oversized billboards showing his paintings will be covered up again by the glossy advertisement. “Up to this point, I haven’t left behind very many traces of my work.”
OX: Public Posters is highly recommended to anyone out there who is struck by the concept of temporality and (of course) thought-out design that interacts with its surroundings in a very creative way.
OX: Public Posters
Editor: Andreas Ullrich
Release Date: February 2015
Published by International Neighborhood Verlag
Format: 16.5 × 24 cm
Hardcover, 308 pages
Language: English, German, French