One of my least favorite things in the world are obnoxious billboards, the worst of which are those advertising injury or divorce attorneys and “gentlemen’s clubs.” When Paul and I went on our Midwest summer road trip this year we joked that we could tour the United States by following the signs for “adult entertainment.” Who frequents those places in the middle of nowhere? I don’t even really want to contemplate it, but they are ubiquitous and the billboards are trashy and just plain ugly. But can you imagine if billboards showcased paintings instead of advertisements? French artist Etienne Lavie did and the results are breathtaking.


Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People


Fragonard’s Rinaldo in the Garden of the Palace of Armida


Boldini’s Mathe de Florian

See the full project at

Update: I just discovered that London actually has replaced advertising space with a project called Art Everywhere. Check it out at How is London SO cool?

PS – WordPress tells me that some viewers may see an ad beneath this post. A post about replacing ads with fine art… The irony is not lost on me. But to be fair, I don’t dislike all advertising. I don’t necessarily like constantly being told what to buy, but I do think that marketing and branding that is well designed can be beautiful.

replacing billboards with art