Observations: The artist and the atheist ad

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The Independent Culture

Unless you've been living under a rock, you can't have missed the furore surrounding the atheist ad campaign cooked up by the comedian Ariane Sherine and supported by Richard Dawkins and the British Humanist Association, which has seen London buses plastered with the statement, "There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life". They brought to mind the work of one S Mark Gubb, who had the idea of subverting the Church's proselytising posters a long time ago – and to far more striking and amusing effect.

I first saw the 34-year-old artist's fluorescent billboards on the stand of the Nottingham gallery Moot, at the Zoo Art Fair a couple of years ago. His cheeky conceit is to take the posters that typically adorn the noticeboards of places of worship, and replace their biblical quotes and pious exhortations with rock'n'roll posturing and profane lyrics, signed off with the singers' names. There's Iron Maiden ("The sands of time, for me, are running low" Bruce 9:3); Mötley Crüe ("Girls girls girls" Vince 2:4); Napalm Death ("You suffer... but why?" Nik 4:1); and further unprintables from Metallica and Slayer. Check them out on www.smarkgubb.com, or visit Gubb's first solo exhibition, My Empire of Dirt, which opens today at the Ceri Hand Gallery, Liverpool.