Striking Billboards and Bus Ads Tell L.A. That ‘Arts Matter’

Barbara Kruger designs manifestos

Product advertising banished from some Los Angeles buses and billboards in favor of a thoughtful campaign supporting the arts?! What's our consumer society coming to? The "Arts Matter" effort by ForYourArt on behalf of the nonprofit Los Angeles Fund for Public Education is designed to raise $1.5 million for arts education in the city's schools. Clear Channel and CBS donated $4 million in media space, including 12 buses wrapped in provocative, eye-catching text designed by conceptual artist Barbara Kruger. Slogans rendered in bold white letters against stark black or red backgrounds include H.G. Wells's "Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe," and Kruger's own "Art is as heavy as sorrow. As light as a breeze. As bright as an idea. As pretty as a picture. As funny as money. And as fugitive as fraud." Well, duh, who doesn't know that? Personally, I prefer real ads. When I ride inside public transportation plastered with pictures of Photoshopped Big Macs and bulimic models in skinny jeans, I feel like a true American. But that's just me. Angelenos seem to be responding to the arts push, which is nearly one-third of the way to its monetary target. Artists using the machinery of commerce to achieve their goals?! We're all doomed! Photos by @jeff6arcia, @Waltarrrr and kjjargon28. More below.