This is our BillboardBoy Story

It is early in the morning on 5 January 1987 when the train from Madrid rolls in to the Gare dâ Austerlitz station in Paris. All my senses come alive in this fantastic world metropolis. I take the Metro to Pigalle in the Montmartre district and soon find a hotel room that suits my budget. The room is furnished with a bed, an armchair and a small table. I move the armchair to a better position in front of the beautiful corner window and sit in it with my feet resting on the warm radiator. This will be my bed for the next two nights.

Through the window I can see the fasade of a building with a poster of a railway platform on an illuminated billboard. Two men are busy replacing the poster. They work quickly and methodically and in less then ten minutes they have completed the task. Parisians are now being urged to go and see Betty Blue 37.2 Degrees in the Morning, a film directed by Jean-Jacques Beineix. The new poster is incredibly beautiful and seems to become at one with my room. It´s a perfect place to rest my eyes, I think, before I head out onto the streets of Paris.

Inter rail

Just after 10pm I am back in my room. Exhausted and overwhelmed by impressions after a long day, I wrap myself in a blanket and settle down in the armchair. I look out at the illuminated billboard and the last thing I see before I fall asleep is the beautifully melancholic face of Betty Blue right outside my window.

I am suddenly awoken by a rattling sound. Rather sleepily I look at my watch and see that it´s midnight. When I look through the window I see two people standing on a platform below the billboard. One of them is lowering a rope down to a third person standing on the ground. He attaches a bucket and a broom-like object to the rope and they are quickly hoisted up to the platform. They remind me of the tools that the two men used the day before to put up the poster. These two men are just as quick and efficient and in less than ten minutes Betty Blue has been replaced with a stunning work of art. It looks rather like something that the talented artist Andy Warhol would have created in his New York City Studio The Factory during the 1960s and 70s. The scene that is taking place outside my window is almost surreal.

I wake up early the next morning and set off to find somewhere to eat breakfast. Out on the street I see a motley group of people. Judging from their lively discussions and gestures it seems that the new work of art is the hot topic of conversation. I am curious and look for someone who can help me translate what they are saying. It turns out to be a few young artists that paint posters in their studios during the day and go out at night to put them up on the city´s billboards. The artist that created this particular piece calls himself Le garson billboard (BillboardBoy).

The event that I witnessed that night planted a little seed in me that has now, many years later, blossomed into an amazing picture product. The product is called BillboardBoy and enables you to change the pictures and messages to suit your home just as quickly, easily and creatively as the artist Le garson billboard changed the room for me that January night in Paris.