New York, NY - July 29, 2006 - With labels that read "Fragile Contains: Peace, Hope or Freedom", visual artist Franck de Las Mercedes sends abstractly painted, seemingly empty boxes to anybody, anywhere in the world, for free.
The "Priority Boxes" project is a public art series that seeks to initiate dialogue on peace, challenge people to reconsider their ability to influence change and question the fragility, value and priority given to concepts such as peace. Each box, sent by mail to anyone who requests one, is both a canvas for a unique abstract painting and a platform for communication through art. A mixture of art and activism, the boxes are sent free to convey that something of such priority as peace should not have a price and that art can be both inclusive and accessible to all.
The project which started in 2006 as an experiment, and is funded by the artist and donations from supporters, has evolved into a movement that has been embraced by popular culture, the mainstream media, schools and art educators across America. From his small New Jersey studio, the artist has sent over 9000 boxes around the globe, to countries in every continent.
With his boxes, de Las Mercedes is in the process of creating a phenomenon that is as visceral as it is visual. The boxes fuse elements of painting, sculpture and conceptual art that transform the exhibition space into a broader environment. By having the art on the outside for all to see, both the addressees and spectators become incorporated into the work and the concept.