Typically used for commercial and political promotion, billboards are rarely sites of personal narrative or expression. American artist Felix Gonzalez–Torres subverted this convention in this work, a billboard commissioned by the contemporary art journal Parkett. The billboard shows a beach or sandlot covered in footprints. The absence of any text allows the work to suggest a multiplicity of meanings—a journey, the passing of time, the absence of human presence, even death.
Gonzalez–Torres symbolically likened art to the powerful trace of footsteps, when he said, “It leaves a mark. It leaves a statement that you were here, that perhaps it is possible to have a different view of life.”
Gallery label from 2006.