DICKCHICKEN at the Museum of Sex

I visited the Museum of Sex this weekend to check out an exhibition called F*CK ART. Hanging right by the entrance was street artist DICKCHICKEN’s take on the subway map-as-a-phallus theme. The rest of the show is just as awesome. Cassius Fouler has a playfully perverse wall piece entitled We’re F*cked, which depicts food items and sex organs in his unique iconographic style. Australian artist LUSH also has a big piece with a big phallus, ejaculating his pseudonym across the wall.

A few of these pieces are on the main level of the museum—which is a gift shop—so you can view them without paying for admission. Check out Graff Cal for the exhibition details!

NYC Gets Up

Is that a Long Island in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?

Something has changed indeed.

Emerging street artist Beast made a few not-so-subtle alterations to the map and posted them at subway entrances around the city last week. Props to him for taking the Manhattan as phallus motif a step further and for poking (no pun intended) fun at the MTA’s silly new ad campaign.


Another version of the faux-sign evokes recent events.

Tourists continued using the maps, unhindered by the text tilted 100 degrees.

Something’s different here. Ah yes! They changed the color of the water!

Identity, Belonging and the MTA – The Art of Asma A. Shikoh

Asma Ahmed Shikoh is a Pakistani-American artist currently based in New York City whose work has been exhibited at the Queens Museum of Art, Ceres Gallery, Exit Art, Austrian Cultural Forum, and the Williamsburg Art and Historical Center. A professional artist for over ten years, she has been profiled in The New York Times and on the BBC, and has been recognized for her singular take on identity and geography. Born and raised in Pakistan, her pieces have a hybrid sensibility, blending diverse cultural icons and affects into a synthesis of images that transcends the simplistic dichotomy of East and West.

Mrs. Shikoh’s main New York-based collections “Home” (2005) and “Liberated” (2007) both contain original reinterpretations of MTA maps and Metrocards. In these collections, Mrs. Shikoh rewrites the text of these basic transit tools in Urdu, a Hindi dialect spoken in Pakistan, rendering the subway system and its affects into an almost universal signpost of participation and belonging in modern society. In 2009, her work was published in Tracy Fitzpatrick’s “Art and the Subway”, a comprehensive overview of the history of subway art. We caught up with Mrs. Shikoh to ask her about her life, her art and their intersection with New York public transit. Continue reading “Identity, Belonging and the MTA – The Art of Asma A. Shikoh”

The Subway Art of Enrico Miguel Thomas

Enrico Miguel Thomas is the quintessential subway artist; he works in the subway, his work is about the subway and the subway also acts as a canvas for his work (so to speak).

“The Subway Artist of New York,” as he is known, makes detailed line drawings of various scenes related to the New York City transit system—both underground and aboveground. Many artists depict life in the subway, but Enrico takes this idea a step further and uses the subway map as his canvas.

The artist has had a rough childhood and escaped to art at an early age. Despite this hardship, he has made the most of what he has been dealt; this shows in his work as well. “I use very little — free maps and Sharpies — to show that even if you have very little, you can still do something good,” he told the NY Times in April 2010.

You can find more of Enrico’s work on his blog at enricomiguelthomas.com.

Personalized Subway Maps

As part of its special Subway Issue, The New York Times invited artists and readers to design their own personalized version of New York’s subway map. Several designs were published including a couple by well known graffiti legends—one by Lady Pink (top) and another by Stay High 149 (below). As it were, The Times also featured this blog in the same spread. What would your subway map look like?

Map Quest Exhibition on Dirty Pilot

Online art exhibition website Dirty Pilot has a new show up called “Map Quest.” It features subway maps painted by legendary writers like the ones above by COPE2 (left) and GHOST (right). The pieces in the show are available for purchase on the site. It will only be up until November 7th, so check it out while you can; there is some excellent work.

I Heart New York

The Korean design duo over at Zero Per Zero created this lovely heart-shaped New York City subway map. It’s is an interesting reference to Milton Glaser’s iconic ‘I Love New York’ design. If you know Korean, you can buy one from their website; it would make a perfect Valentine’s Day gift for your lover (and while you are there get one for me too, please). Happy Valentine’s Day!

Update: According to newyorkshitty.com, Zero Per Zero is in the process of finding a distributor to sell these in the US!

Dharma Rapid Transit Lost Subway Map

If the Dharma Initiative had lasted a bit longer on the island from ABC’s Lost, perhaps they would have built a transportation system like this one. This subway map, made by John Cabrera, features many of the key locations and events from seasons one through five. If you are a huge Lost fan like myself, you probably already know about the season premiere this Tuesday on ABC. If you are not a huge Lost fan, this is for you.