Every so often the MTA runs vintage “Nostalgia Trains” in the New York subway for special occasions. Last month the Levy Family organized a old-timey tea party on one of those trains, effectively completing the “turn back the clock” atmosphere.
I snapped the above photo in downtown Manhattan a month or so ago. There were several stone rectangles around the property that all looked similar. What a great example of the subconscious art of grafitti removal! If you are unfamiliar with the art form, see this short film from 2002 directed by Matt McCormick:
For our latest mission, a 13-member handbell choir provided some unexpected accompaniment for a Salvation Army bell ringer on Lexington Avenue in Manhattan. Enjoy the video first and then go behind the scenes with our report below.
Read the behind-the-scenes and see photos: Guerrilla Handbell Strikeforce
Toronto artist Posterchild recently took a break from installing art in NYC phone booths to propose to his girlfriend. He popped the the question by appropriating a sign reserved for ad space above a Manhattan subway stop. Posterchild writes:
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!
And she said yes! Congrats!
For the latest Improv Everywhere mission, Agent Lathan pretended to get lost during a Knicks game. Throughout the second half he kept appearing further and further away from his assigned seat with a confused look on his face. Of course Knicks fans went crazy trying to help him find his way back. Enjoy the video first and then go behind the scenes with the IE report: Where’s Rob?
New York City has had a ton of phone booth art this fall. Lately it seems like you can’t go for a walk without seeing a great piece by an artist like Jordan Seiler. The above was done by Toronto’s Posterchild, who’s been hanging out in NYC quite a bit lately.
I love these unauthorized projects because they’re turning useless eyesores into art. There are certain city blocks in NY that have upwards of 10 public telephones. When is the last time anyone used a payphone? I understand their utility for those who can’t afford or happen to be without a cell phone, but really, do we need multiple phones on every corner? These structures are simply huts to cash in on advertising dollars, and they needlessly pollute the scenery of our streets.
Here’s a great NY Times article from 2007 that explains that pay phone advertising rakes in $62 million a year: As Billboards, Public Phones Always Work.
Also of note, you can see both Seiler and Posterchild, along with Jason Eppink and Specter, speak about their work on Friday, November 20 out in Astoria — details here.
For their latest mission, seven undercover IE agents staged a spontaneous musical during lunch at the Trump Tower atrium. The mission was filmed for a segment on The Today Show and includes a cameo from Ann Curry. Their report: I Love Lunch! The Musical
At last weekend’s Art Under the Bridge Festival in Brooklyn, artists Jennifer Fisher and Christian Cerrito launched their Red Arrow Project. The project consisted of several floating cursor kites (which were tied to weather balloons) pointing at random locations and encouraging people to be mindful of things they normally might not look at.
Fisher and Cerrito’s floating red arrows may provide some competition with New York’s long-running Yellow Arrow Project.
For Improv Everywhere’s latest mission, six undercover actors burst into song in a grocery store in Queens. Three minutes and lots of silly choreography later, they returned to their roles as shoppers and stock boys. The mission was filmed with hidden robotic, lipstick, and wearable cameras. Enjoy the video first and then go behind the scenes with their full report: Grocery Store Musical
Heads up! If you’re in New York any time between now and October 31, take a stroll down 14th Street to find a treasure trove of public art projects. Art in Odd Places is back again this year with some really cool projects. Among the many things you’ll see are messages written in ash on the sidewalk, free money hiding nooks and crannies, twitter streams projected onto water fountains at night, and of course, a strange person in a knit bodysuit!