Wheatpasting, also known as flyposting, is an urban guerrilla-marketing tactic that utilizes pasted posters as a brand signifier. Posters of all sizes are wheatpasted (so called because of the type of glue that was originally used), on construction site barricades, building fronts, alleyways, anywhere with a high flow of pedestrian traffic. It is an underground art form that has been around for centuries, yet its history and origin remain largely unknown. It has been used as a popular medium for street artists to communicate their messages and to create artwork in public spaces. Wheatpasting was used by advertisers as early as the 19th century when they needed to quickly put up posters and advertisements in urban areas of high foot-traffic.
From large scale street murals to small window displays, wheatpasting offers artists numerous opportunities to express their creativity in public spaces without the need for expensive equipment or materials. Wheatpastes have been used by many renowned contemporary artists such as Banksy, Swoon and Shepard Fairey, all of whom have become well-known for their distinctive style and engaging visuals. These vibrant visual installations offer viewers a unique glimpse into the creative minds behind them, while providing visual stimulation for the public passing by.
The art of street posters was hugely popular during the 1960s and 1970’s, primarily among members of counterculture movements such as rock bands and London punks, who would use wheatpasted images to spread their messages through graffiti-style murals. This trend of visual messaging slowly gained wider popularity and today, many cities have embraced this method of expression as part of urban culture.
Ever since my life relocated to downtown New York in the early 90's, I have been a huge fan of wheatpasting. I loved the immediacy and the fleeting aspect of passing by powerful and provocative images. It was never precious and the images evolved as time passed, and too I evolved, along with the city of New York. For me, the downtown landscape would not be the same without wheatpastings. And now, finally, 6397 and I are so excited and proud to be among them and to share our new ad campaign, shot by Ari Marcopoulos. 6397 is a brand based in and constantly inspired by NYC ̶ thank you New York.