Dr. D’s ‘Subvertising’

In the 21st Century advertisement is present in every part of the public and sometimes even the private sphere, attacking all our senses every minute of every day. London based artist Dr. D hence decided to turn advertisement into a street art by using the same logos and formulas but smartly changing the overall meaning with imaginative notes and social/cultural references.


The Aberdonian addition to Dr. D’s portfolio is formed by two subvertisements (subverting – advertisement). The left poster portrays the good old Coca-Cola can which could easily be just another company advertisement, if it wasn’t for the note: Buy the world a God, underneath it. As any other type of art, it can be interpreted and understood in many ways and arguably none of them is wrong. How I understand it is that it challenges you to ask questions, such as: Is the market the God of today’s world? Is the consumerism the core belief of the current society? Did everything, including religion, become a commodity? These questions then open a discussion on these topics and get the viewers of Dr. D’s art talk, think and evaluate.

The poster on the right can be understood as a reference to Martin Luther King’s famous speech I Have a Dream, which targeted topics such as racism, equality and love. What exactly is the message of this one is again discussable. Does it impose the question of inequality in equality (All animals are equal but some are more equal than others)? Does it speak to the differences of social statuses in today’s world where the rich, powerful and with good contacts are aloud everything and anything? Does it mean that the advertised life, the American, European or any other dream is just for the chosen ones?

Thanks to the questions this art piece rises it can be understood as a critique of the current social and political situation. A highly effective critique especially because of its availability and approachability for anybody who intentionally comes to see it or just a random passer-by. When one tries to place it into the artworld context it could be easily argued that it shares the same premises and intentions with Banksy’s street art. Both of them respond to the problems and questions of today’s world and are in the streets to make people talk, question and form ideas on important topics that the market hides from its customers behind advertisement and mass media.


Petra Vočadlová


One thought on “Dr. D’s ‘Subvertising’

  1. These pieces do raise a lot of questions and hopefully this addition of more public art in Aberdeen will get people talking about these issues!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.