Advertising Isn’t Art, But This Is

Of all the pieces on display in Ohio Edit’s exhibition of art by ad-agency creatives, John Hegarty’s photos are perhaps the most inscrutable, at least to American eyes. The Bartle Bogle Hegarty co-founder’s “Misdirected Reverence” series features three photographs of an office building, a ladder and a seemingly lifeless body of a bewigged judge. “It’s very British,” Frank Snider, partner at the New York edit house, says simply.

Among the other artists in the show are Neil Powell, president of Powell in New York, whose cartoonish, playful paintings are inspired by people from his past; Dan Rollman, copywriter at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco, who displays white T-shirts customized with a permanent marker; and Adam Whitaker, creative director at Duffy/Fallon in London, who flew in for the opening last Thursday night to show his subdued photos of children and houses.

Snider and his fellow partner at Ohio Edit, Marybeth Medernach, were inspired to put on the show when they realized how many ad people they know who dabble in art. “We decided, let’s first call friends and clients that we know and say, ‘Hey, we’d love to show your work,’ ” Medernach says. “What we found was that just by contacting one or two people, we discovered so many more people who were interested.”

The exhibition, on display by appointment until through Thursday at 7 W. 18th St. in New York, features eight creatives. But stifled artists, take note: Ohio Edit plans to make this an ongoing event.