The Infamous Archives: Gallery Scene

Speaking English


Subversive street artist Ron English gets his point across, one billboard at a time.

Text by Zio

In 1984, Ron English and a loose collective of painters known as the New Urban Aesthetics Committee gathered in dusty Dallas, Texas. Their goal was to usurp 24 billboards in one day, replacing the advertisements with artworks and transforming the urban landscape into the ultimate public gallery.

The first billboard went off without a hitch. English posted a design that read, “The Great Outdoor Art Show Made Possible by a Generous Grant from the Randal Hart Foundation.” He hoped it would lend credence to their mission, even though there was no Randal Hart, and it was just English’s code word for vandal art.
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