I was thrilled recently to be invited to create a poster for the New York MTA Arts for Transit program. Thrilled is something of an understatement. Every year, two different artists create subway related posters which hang in all the new trains in the city. My friend, the wonderful R. Gregory Christie has designed the other one, so I am in excellent company. Thousands of our posters will be in circulation, so if you are traveling under or over Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens or the Bronx any time in 2012, you can't miss them. The first one has been spotted on the M train just this morning, other trains to follow.
Needless to say I love the subway. I glean all my characters from my fellow passengers. The same sorts of things which attracted me to Missed Connections, I find on the train: subtle interactions, eccentricity, beauty, sorrow, secrets, kindness, generosity, excellent hairdos. Every sort of person imaginable and unimaginable. For this poster, I measured my allotted space very carefully and figured out I had enough space to draw 34 people. I had to whittle and whittle my list of favorite characters. The surfer standing with his board in a puddle of water didn't make it. Neither did the gorgeous elderly drag queen, the man with the enormous orange velour armchair or the disheveled mermaids. I'm sorry. I still love you.
I believe the poster will soon be puchase-able online at the MTA store for about $25. Proceeds from the sales go to support the not-for-profit New York Transit Museum’s exhibitions and education programs.