In a city where billboards are familiar sights, one can feel dwarfed by the sheer size of them. Israeli photographer Natan Dvir was no exception. He was surprised to come across such colossal advertisements and how the models in each photo would loom over pedestrians as they walked by. It is this observation that led to the conception of his project entitled Coming Soon.
Advertising in New York City has become so pervasive that the enormous billboards seem commonplace. The phrase, “bigger is better” comes to mind. Gone are the days when oversized billboards would be torn down because they were deemed “eyesores”. Nowadays they are even incorporated into street art and urban architecture. They “dominate the space” and turn pedestrians into “passive spectators,” Dvir says.
In the foreground, you can see pedestrians and hotdog carts against an imposing backdrop of giant models and brand names hoping to be etched into memory. Technically, they’re photos within photos so some form of credit should also go to the artist behind the ads themselves.
Dvir writes in his artist statement for the series:
“The effectiveness of outdoor billboards is juxtaposed with their impermanence; most are replaced after several weeks. The ephemeral nature, massive size and saturated colors of the ads create a fluid cinematic experience for the observer. People inhabiting the space underneath are pulled, unaware, into a staged set, the reality of the street merging with the commercial fantasy of the advertisements. Coming Soon is an exploration of our visual relationship with the branded city centers and the commercial environment we live in.”
The series has 27 photographs so far. Visit his website to view the photo set Coming Soon. If you’re in the New York area, you can also pop in for a visit at the Anastasia Photo gallery where Dvir’s images are on display until May 19th, 2013.