Commercial art gallery

Poster House Presents “Masked Vigilantes on Silent Motorcycles”

David Wojnarowicz, “True Myth (Domino Sugar)” (1983) (© Estate of David Wojnarowicz, courtesy the Estate of David Wojnarowicz & P P O W, New York)

Now on view at Poster House, Masked vigilantes on silent motorbikes traces how advertising posters have become a staple of public discourse, providing artists with a rich array of material on which to build, demolish and subvert meaning. Throughout this exhibition, posters are vehicles for modern and contemporary artists to critique concepts of beauty standards, capitalism, and ownership of public space.

Organized by RJ Rushmore of Art in Ad Places, a 2017-2021 campaign that replaced outdoor payphone advertising with art, Masked vigilantes includes works by David Wojnarowicz, Swoon, KAWS, Jordan Seiler, Jacques Villeglé and many others who incorporate posters into their work in unique ways. Aiming to subvert the original message, they play with, reframe and recontextualize the advertising elements, perhaps attempting to reclaim a public platform that private entities have long claimed. While the majority of artists featured are critical of the functionality of the ads, many are also enamored with the artistry and design that goes into creating a good poster, and the connection viewers have with design in everyday life.

For house poster, this exhibition functions as a meta-observation of the main subject of the museum. In its first three years of programming, it focused on posters as examples of design history and social artifact; but here the museum hopes to examine how posters have infiltrated society and what meanings and functions they currently embrace. The exhibition aims to blur the line between commerce and fine art, showing once again that context often determines how we perceive artistic skills.

Masked vigilantes on silent motorbikes will be on view until February 12, 2023 in the main gallery of Poster House.

To learn more, visit posterhouse.org.