Announcing Poster Boy: The War of Art

The next big subway art book is on its way out. Poster Boy: The War of Art is a collection of Poster Boy’s best works. There aren’t too many details available yet, but the following description is floating around:

His cut and slash mash-ups of subway platform billboards only exist in New York City, but Poster Boy’s artful and funny appropriations of advertising have gotten him attention the world over. The New York Times dubbed him an “anti-consumerist Zorro with a razor blade, a sense of humor and a talent for collage”; the Guardian UK said of his work, it “is witty, web-savvy and economical . . . and the only materials it requires are chutzpah, imagination and a 50 cent blade.”

Poster Boy tweaks corporate copy, replacing it with incisive and playful puns and turns of phrase rich with innuendo and political punch. Beautiful models turn ghastly and iconic spokespeople become the mouthpieces for Poster Boy’s ideas. Poster Boy: The War of Art collects his best work yet.

The book is set for release on March 2nd, 2010, but you can preorder it on Amazon. I did as soon as I found out about it. Check back in March for a review!

Bob Noorda, Subway Sign Designer, Dead at 82

Bob Noorda, one of the designers credited for bringing a Modernist, uniform style to the New York City subway system, is dead at 82.

From The New York Times’ obituary:

Mr. Noorda’s best-known work in the United States was for the Metropolitan Transit Authority, which in 1966 commissioned his firm, Unimark International, to modernize and unify the look of the subway system’s signs. The firm had been recommended by Mildred Constantine, an influential design curator at the Museum of Modern Art.

Noorda’s designs hold up well, even 40 years after their inception.  They have become icons of New York’s urban scene and through them he is survived.

Poster Boy is Caught in Action

From Poster Boy's Flickr, posted just before his first arrest

Well-known subway artist, Poster Boy, was arrested again on Friday after a cop caught him at the Jefferson Street L train station cutting the heads off of people in an ad. His arrest comes just as he was about to finish his sentence of 210 hours of community service from a previous arrest about one year ago. A spokeswoman for the Brooklyn District Attorney said, “We plan on asking the judge to throw out the plea deal and sentence [him] to jail.”

According to the NY Post’s sources, Poster Boy, “told the cop he should get a break because it was the first time he did it — but admitted he was the infamous Poster Boy after the officer ran his name through a computer.”

The Subway Art Blog has recently spotted other stations along the L in Bushwick with several ads missing heads. These decapitations may have to do with a larger project Poster Boy had in store.

Subway Artists for Haiti

Since the earthquake in Haiti, many artists have started initiatives to raise relief money; the artists we have featured on Subway Art Blog are no exception. The video above was filmed by visual journalist Kate Lord for NBC New York’s website. Two subway musicians, Erich Woodrum and Francois Nnang, are donating half of their earnings to Red Cross for earthquake relief.

Subversions photographer Jordana Zeldin, who we have featured several times, has founded an organization called Headshots for Haiti. Participating headshot photographers in the group are pledging to donate a portion of the proceeds from their sessions this February to Partners in Health’s Earthquake Relief effort.

Please check out both of these projects and consider donating to their charities. Please e-mail us if you have heard about other subway artist’s efforts to help Haiti.

Subway Art… Proposal?

Posterchild Proposal

Congratulations to Posterchild and his new fiancee! He proposed to her by surprising her with this street art installation. From Blade Diary:

She thought she was just helping me out with another street art project; I kept this covered until after it was installed and after the unveiling I was expecting some kind of reaction- but it took a little while to convince her that this was a proposal for real, and not just some art project!

Don’t worry, she said yes!

Check out the video and more photos here.

Graffiti Legend Eric Haze Relaunches Website

Haze Subway Graffiti 1

Illustrious graffiti artist and fellow New Yorker, Eric Haze has just released a new website featuring artwork spanning nearly 30 years of his career. The “Roots” section is of particular interest to us as it includes an entire subsection of his early subway graffiti works. It is truly a blast from the past seeing all of these old school trains, outfitted in intricate, large-scale graffiti.

Check out additional subway graffiti and troves more of Haze’s work at Interhaze. Continue reading “Graffiti Legend Eric Haze Relaunches Website”

Happy Birthday Subway Art Blog!

Happy Birthday

The Subway Art Blog turns one today. It’s been a crazy awesome year. The site started as a place for me to post my stupid cell phone photos and it seems to be starting to flourish as a hub for subway art on the web. Thanks to everyone who has contributed and has taken an interest in this project!

Photo taken from the F train platform at Delancey St.

High Line Opens Today

This day has been 10 years in the making.

If you’ve ever been to the Chelsea Galleries, or the west side of the Meatpacking District here in New York you may have noticed an old timey train track standing above the streets. This is the High Line: an elevated freight train line that has been out of service for nearly 30 years. In 1999 the line was coming closer and closer to demolition when two locals, Joshua David and Robert Hammond, founded the Friends of the High Line. Their mission: to transform the High Line into a one of a kind elevated city park. After ten years of working at full steam, their day has finally come.  The first phase of the High Line park opens to the public today.

If you are in Manhattan be sure to check out this exciting, unique project.

[High Line – Visitor Info]

Take Action Against the Fare Hike

All joking aside, we subway riders will be pretty screwed if the fare hikes and service cuts really do happen.  Single rides are set to jump to $2.50 and monthly cards to $103 a month.  LIRR and Metro-North will see 25% fare hikes.  This is all on top of two subway and 35 bus line eliminations, not to mention service reduction on many of the surviving lines.

The state senate is now kicking around proposals to bail out the MTA and save us commuters who these changes will affect most, but they are dragging their feet.  With all the giant bailouts going on, it will be a relief to hear about one that will help average citizens and not giant, greedy corporations.

There is something you can do to help with this effort.  The Working Families Party has set up to encourage us to contact our legislators and demand that they support a fair, comprehensive plan to save New York’s transit riders.  On the site is a pre-written letter you can submit.  Take action now, before it’s too late!


The Bonnie and Clyde of Subway Graffiti

In August of last year, two of the most notorious subway graffiti artists were arrested as they arrived in the United States after a tagging tour of Europe.  Earlier this month, Danielle “Dani” Bremner was charged in her case for vandalizing subway cars in Manhattan.  She was tried separately and was sentenced to six months in prison for tagging subway cars in Queens.

The trial of her boyfriend, Jim Clay Harper or “Ether” is currently pending.

During their trip the couple is said to have tagged trains and other properties in ten countries in Europe.

According to police, the graffiti damages totaled between $100,000 and $200,000 in New York City alone.

Dani and Ether were among a dying breed of talented artists creating subway car graffiti art similar to that which was commonplace in the 1980s.  While the MTA is cutting back on graffiti removal spending, it may be a while before we see the revival of the subway art movement documented in Martha Cooper’s book.