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Billboard micro-apartment houses artist, reflects on popup art

Perched above Mexico City’s Polanco district, artist Cecelia Beaven lived for 10 days in a tiny apartment, leaving only to paint the billboard that formed one side of her pop-up home.

About the size of a shipping container, her elevated house was built from steel and chipboard and provided a kitchen, bathroom, closet, shower, and desk. A barrel mounted into a rooftop tower provided gravity-fed water for plumbing. A door inside the billboard was the only entrance to the home.

Billboard House was envisioned as an ad campaign for the notebook company Scribe; Cecelia, as artist-in-residence, Cecelia Beaven, spent her stay covering a blank billboard with art requested by the public (via Twitter).

Today the completed billboard lives at MUJAM, the Museo del Juguete Antiguo México (Museum for Antique Toys Mexico): a fitting home for a mural which is ultimately playful, capturing requests from the public like a grasshopper riding a bicycle, or a costumed member of the band Molotov who gave a pop-up concert atop the high-rise home.

We stopped at MUJAM to talk to the creatives behind the project, Juan Pablo Manazza (La Agencia Viva) and Manuel Camacho (La Doble Vida) and for a tour of the museum’s unique mix of old toys and Lucha Libre collection: masks, comics, novels and action figures.