Occupy Subway Art

Some great artwork has come out of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Check out some of the subway art that we’ve spotted underground!


Poster Boy's latest.
Handmade sticker on the F line.
BAMN and CASH4 hit a huge wall off the J train.
Truth in advertising.


Illustration by Subway Art Blog veteran Jeanne Verdoux

Have you spotted some Occupy Wall Street subway art? Please share!

Poster Boy Book Release Celebration

Join Poster Boy and his collective for book release parties in New York, Miami, Los Angeles and London. Proceeds from the events will be donated to K.A.R.A.T.E. or Kids Are Rallying Against the Empire, a group that supports street artists and graffiti artists who are in trouble with the law.

Here are all the essentials for each event:

AE District Gallery

3852 N. Miami Ave.
Miami, FL 33137

Carmichael Gallery

5795 Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232

17 Frost Gallery

17 Frost St
Brooklyn, NY 11211

Pure Evil Gallery

108 Leonard St
London EC2A 4XS
4-late pm

Poster Boy “Collaborates” with Tom Otterness

If you have ever been to the subway at 14th Street and 8th Avenue, you have surely seen the bizarre little creations of Tom Otterness. Over 100 bronze sculptures adorn the nooks and crannies of this station. One of these has been utilized by Poster Boy in his latest flickr post, entitled “Headlamp.”

The piece utilizes a figure from a Shakespeare in the Park ad that was in circulation over a year ago. For this reason, it loses some of its relevance; one of the great qualities of Poster Boy’s early work was its hyper-currency. However, it is still an interesting piece and a fine example of the new direction the artist’s work is taking.

Photo by Jim Kiernan, more on Poster Boy’s flickr.

Poster Boy: The War of Art Review

We’ve been following Poster Boy’s work since day one. Seeing his work in the subway was a major reason we felt the need to create this blog. When we heard about his book deal we were very excited—so excited, in fact, that we unknowingly announced the book before the publisher, Mark Batty. They were kind enough to send us an advance copy to talk about on Subway Art Blog.

The War of Art begins with a quote from Enter the Dragon: “The enemy only has images and illusions behind which he hides his true motives. Destroy the image and you break the enemy.”

Poster Boy wastes no time in acknowledging that the idea of a retrospective book for an artist that has been active for such a short time is absurd. He is also very forward about pointing out that this book is hypocritical because it contradicts the anti-authorship, anti-copyright, anti-consumerist ideas behind his work. He addresses all of this in the introduction: “this book is a part of the supposed medium rather than a retrospective on an artist that has been active for a meager two years.”

The book is divided into three sections; the first, called “Works on Vinyl,” is a collection of the works that made him famous: advertising alterations in the subway and beyond. It includes some work that appears on his flickr account but also a fair amount that does not. The original ads and the altered ads are juxtaposed on facing pages. This was an essential touch, because it fully illustrates the vast creativity that goes into his on-site mashup work.

A few of our favorites from this section include: a Pepsi ad that is altered to say “Corn Syrp” and a Snickers ad altered to say “Fuck the Post, Read Chompsky.” When the alterations are political, they are very strong; when they are lighthearted, they are very funny. They are also visually seamless. They remind you why he became so infamous doing this.

Poster Boy's tribute to Space Invader

Just when the vinyl section gets warmed up, it seems to end. The second section of the book is “Abetments,” a portion dedicated to collaborations with and tributes to other artists. Some of the street artists Poster Boy tips his hat to include: Space Invader, Decapitator, Princess Hijab, Katsu, Booker and Keith Haring. A number of the artist’s many collaborations with Aakash Nihalani also appear in this section.

The last portion of the book is reserved for Poster Boy’s exhibition work. Large scale pieces from shows at Art Basel, the Jajo Gallery and Eastern District are featured in this section. While it is interesting to see this side of PB’s work, it seems a bit out of place. The inclusion of this work makes the book feel closer to the retrospective it says it is not.

This section also includes selections from Poster Boy’s infamous MoMA advertising hit at Atlantic Avenue – Pacific Street. This is an important part of the artist’s work, but also seems out of place in the context of this book.

In general, this book is an effective showcase of the ephemeral work of one of the most interesting, creative artists we have covered on Subway Art Blog. Its main downfall is not including more of his work. There is certainly troves more of it on flickr that could have been used. Alas, this must be another side effect of putting a book out so early in one’s artistic career.

The War of Art will be available in August on Amazon or a on bookshelf in a commercial space near you.

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.

Poster Boy Returns for a Cause

Poster Boy, "Unfare"

In his first new advertising mashup flickr post since April 2009, Poster Boy targets the subway fare. The work is probably not current considering there are no Harry Potter ads in circulation right now, but is an older work posted for the first time to draw attention to a petition to save student MetroCards which he linked to in the image’s caption. We encourage you to sign it and help this cause!

In other Poster Boy-related news, it seems his upcoming book, The War of Art, will be released later than originally expected. The publisher’s website sets the release as May 2010, although Amazon.com still has the date as March 23rd. The book is expected to include many of his works which were completed after he stopped posting on flickr.