Imagine Times Square
completely void of billboards and advertisements, and instead replaced with modern art. Impossible, right? Not so, according to 22-year-old Dutch design engineering student, Justus Bruns, who dreams of turning the New York landmark into a huge outdoor art exhibition.
He recently started a project called "Times Square to Art Square
" and is using social media outlets, such as Facebook
, to raise money for the cause. Last week, Bruns visited New York for the first time, purchasing his plane ticket with money he made by selling his cardboard artwork
His idea, in theory, is simple: Remove the massive billboards and flashy ads, then commission a crew of artists to take over the 42nd Street intersection. Bruns is hoping to have companies "donate" their billboard/ad space to the project, as some have done in the past for events like Broadway on Broadway
, Earth Day
and other art-inspired projects.
"I felt I needed to confront people with art in public spaces, to give them an option to stand still and enjoy the present moment, and that's how 'Times Square to Art Square' was born," Bruns tells Asylum.
Bruns will return to New York in October to kick off the project with a small launch party. He is currently working with three people based in New York, and a team of eight in the Netherlands (his headquarters is his dorm room). He'd eventually like to move to New York permanently -- if he can secure a green card.
Bruns has been blown away by the positive response he's received so far. "To me, New York is one of the most creative cities in the world," he says." When I was there last week, I was inspired by people explaining how much they would love seeing Times Square transforming to Art Square, even if it would just be for a couple of minutes. Because it speaks to what New York is all about: making the impossible possible."