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Graffiti artists reclaim the commons and obscure subway ads
10.06.2014
05:58 am

Topics:
Activism
Advertising
Art

Tags:
graffiti
NYC
subways


 
For what New Yorkers pay to ride “public transportation,” you’d think the MTA wouldn’t feel compelled to sell every square inch of subway car to bloodsucking corporate pirates—much less that aesthetic villain, Dr. Jonathan Zizmor. M.D.. But where there is a square inch to monetize, “public” space will never really be public. Two anonymous artists, going by SKI and 2ESAE, have decided to take the commons with some slick guerrilla tactics.

Now defacing ads is nothing new, and their messaging might be a little platitudinous (“be who you are don’t be sheep”), but the project itself is a kind of a cool ad campaign against ads. While the duo’s traditional idiom is graffiti, the plastering of polished “ad copy” is a subtler, more formal approach to anti-advertising protest—you have to look twice, something straphangers almost never do for a scrawl of Sharpie or an artless tag in spray paint. While very few people probably saw the installation itself (I’ve been on the J train at 3AM—it’s pretty dead), the folks at ANIMAL videotaped it for posterity—YouTube is the last town square, I suppose.

I’d hope actions like this might take off, but the MTA has already announced plans to put cameras in cars... you know… for safety.
 

 
Via ANIMAL

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Awesome old school NYC subway photos

image
Photograph by Bruce Davidson
 
Photos of old school New York before they switched over to the subway trains that couldn’t be graffitied on. New York has sadly lost a lot of its character since then (as well as many of its characters, too!)
 
image
Photograph by John F. Conn
 
image
Photograph by Bruce Davidson
 
See more photos after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Japanese subway poster: The Seat Monopolizer (July 1976)
08.10.2010
09:47 am

Topics:
Art

Tags:
Japan
Tokyo
subways
manner posters

image
 
Pink Tentacle has a wonderful collection of vintage Tokyo subway manner posters from 1976 - 1982. The one pictured above, The Seat Monopolizer, was inspired by Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator.

Do yourself a favor and go check out more awesome subway manner posters over at Pink Tentacle.

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment