In almost any cosmopolitan city in the world, you can look up at the tops of street lights and telephone polls to sneak a peak at what’s happening inside the great museums of the region. Vinyl banners wave like flags along the upper reaches of urban streets, alerting passersby to current exhibitions.
We might not think of it, but the banners themselves are beautiful works of art – as well as cultural artifacts – that merit appreciation on their own. The people at BetterWall realized this, and made it their business to rescue retiring vinyl signs from their fate in a landfill by putting them on your walls.
BetterWall cleans, restores and sells limited edition promo banners from museums around the world. These beat posters for obvious reasons – they have the urban character of their original function, they’re extremely durable and weatherproof, and no two look exactly alike. They also beat original art for one very important reason: you’ll never afford a Picasso.
BetterWall began their Recycle & Reuse program as an effort to preserve and promote the perennially underfunded arts, as well as to facilitate a more environmentally-conscious way for museums to deal with outdated advertising. A percentage of the proceeds from each banner sale goes back to the museum it came from, establishing an cycle of support that benefits urban arts, spares the environment, and brings something totally unique to design lovers who know the value of having art that tells a story.
The Ball Bearing below comes from a current exhibition at the MoMA, and will not be available in banner form till the show ends.