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Subway Writer Cope2 Arrested

The New York Daily News reports that Cope2, a well-known graffiti writer from the South Bronx was arrested last week for tagging a train on September 11, 2009. The cops said the arrest happened now because they were waiting for him to return from travels abroad. He was charged with two counts of felony mischief and one of making graffiti. Check out the original article for details.

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Poster Boy No Longer in Custody?

According to an automated e-mail from the NYC Department of Corrections, Poster Boy is “no longer in custody.”  It’s not yet completely clear what this means, but Gothamist reported on Tuesday about the possibility of Matyjewicz being released on bail and Mark Batty, Poster Boy’s book publisher, had said on Monday that he would be out within days.

Here is the e-mail:

Since his arrest, a “Free Poster Boy” movement has been started. A Facebook group was created for the cause and attracted over 1,400 members as of Thursday night.

A seemingly unrelated group of Poster Boy supporters has utilized Banksy’s latest work to get their message out. Several of Banksy’s new NYC pieces had been tagged to say “FREE HENRY! -POSTER BOY.” Gothamist has compiled a gallery of all the defaced defacements. These were presumably added by other members of the Poster Boy movement. Ironically, Poster Boy actually appears in the opening sequence of Banksy’s recent documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop.

We are still waiting on an official statement from Poster Boy’s camp on his release.

Poster Boy Sentenced to 11 Months in Jail

I’m going to take a shot in the dark here: the book, and my interview are not going to happen any time soon.

Poster Boy was sentenced to 11 months in jail today after failing to appear in court on May 6th. The irony is that had he shown up, he would have avoided any jail time due to a technical error. According to a statement by his attorney on ANIMAL, the illustrious street artist showed up in court the next day to apologize for not appearing, but was immediately taken into custody. Unfortunately, Poster Boy’s luck has run out and he will be sent to Riker’s Island.

This is a sad day for subway art.

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42nd Street Shuttle Gets a Makeover

The Netherlands Board of Tourism has temporarily transformed the Grand Central – Times Square shuttle into the moving advertisement you see above. The cars were made over as part of the “Just be. In Holland” ad campaign by the Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions.

PointClickHome described the makeover in detail:

One car is dressed to evoke the interior of a grand salon. The seats are wrapped to resemble tufted red benches, the ceiling sports faux plaster medallions, and there’s mahogany wainscot, a rich damask wall covering, and a selection of iconic Dutch masterpieces, including Johannes Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring.

The ad campaign ends March 4th, so time is running out if you want to check these out.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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