Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The close affinity of advertising and art in Holland

In the background of this photograph is the Amsterdam Centraal Train Station as it faces the city centrum. One arrives on the Metro and enters through the station and into the city, which is an interesting transition. Photo by versluis, March 2004.

The extended contemporary billboard contrasts strikingly against the 19th century Neo-Renaissance and Neo-Gothic style architecture. The train station was designed by Pierre Cuypers and A. L. van Gendt, and opened to the public in 1889. The billboard functions as both advertising art space and for covering the back of kiosks of various vendors. Apparently the tour boat is docked because of lack of space somewhere else.

It seems the billboard advertisement or art photography is related to a photo exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum or is it promoting men’s outerwear? Perhaps the display suggests “The Old Man and the Sea” theme of body and spirit. The photography sequence describes both the external ocean atmosphere, but also the inner landscape within the soul. The result is when advertising alludes to art and visa versa. However, on the other hand, perhaps the mural is suggesting worries about global sea level rise.

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