Hi-Fructose Magazine #18: Billboard Liberation Front

Second generation operatives of the BLF ponder their next mission in an outtake from Hi-Fructose Magazine #18 -- by Joe Reifer

Second generation operatives of the BLF ponder their next mission in an outtake from Hi-Fructose Magazine #18 — by Joe Reifer

Issue 18 of contemporary art magazine Hi-Fructose hit the streets recently, and features a 6-page piece on the Billboard Liberation Front (BLF). I’ve been a huge fan of the BLF’s advertising improvements for a long time, so it was a big thrill to photograph 3 generations of BLF operatives for Hi-Fructose. BLF honcho Jack Napier found this amazing empty warehouse location, which I scouted a few days before the shoot. I was really fortunate to have friend and talented photographer Riki Feldmann on this assignment to help with the lighting.

We used the huge 86″ Alienbees PLM with a diffuser on the key light, and then kicked a bare-bulb fill light off the floor from the other side. A Canon 5D Mark II with a 24-70/2.8L was tripod mounted for the group shots, and a second 5D II with a 70-200/2.8L was used for the individual portraits. PocketWizards were used to trigger the strobes, and everything worked without a hitch. The shooting time was about 2 hours for 25 portraits and 4 group shots.

As expected, the BLF was a rowdy and hilarious group to photograph. Riki and I were about to mark where to stand for the portraits with tape on the floor, and then someone spilled some whiskey. When people asked where to stand for their portrait, we told them “between the puddle of water, and the puddle of whiskey.” In the large group shot in the magazine, there is a dead bird on the floor. One of the BLF members made an amazing disguise out of a bucket and a cardboard box while he was waiting to be photographed.

In addition to the piece on the BLF, issue 18 of Hi-Fructose features some really amazing art — I was particularly blown away by the eerie, futuristic ruins of Jean-Pierre Roy. The interview with Mr. Roy is superb — he speaks very eloquently about his work, and I found some interesting artistic parallels to abandoned places night photography (more on that later). Attaboy and Annie Owens put out a really fine publication — look for Hi-Fructose at a bookstore, gallery, or museum near you.

10 thoughts on “Hi-Fructose Magazine #18: Billboard Liberation Front”

  1. Viva BLF! Viva BLF! They gave a talk at the de Young last year for the de Young’s street art series. They were definitely raucous and entertaining.

  2. couldn’t find Hi-Fructose at Border’s so had to order a subscription. I learn more from your site…

  3. Great stuff! Fortunately we don’t have enough billboards around here to be bothered by them. But I’m looking out for BLF anyway. Must have been a blast, Joe.

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