New York City is so big and so anonymous that usually everything around me seems to feel a little timeless. It’s like everything you’re seeing and every practice was always here and is going to always be here. For these reason I really like when something comes along that gives New York City a timeline and actually offers me a chance to chart how long I’ve been here.
Sometimes you can do this with new buildings or billboards. Sometimes you can do this with neighborhood safety (in just two years in NYC I’ve watched Harlem be gentrified). One easy example of these things is theatre shows. It is always very satisfying to me as a discussion piece for how long you’ve lived in the city. I, for example, moved in the fall of 2008- just in time for Title of Show (on Broadway) and Xanadu.
I also have been able to build a timeline of New York with public art installations. These pieces come in for a few months, invade a section of the city, hopefully are appreciated, and hopefully are remembered. When I first moved here the big art project was the waterfalls that had been installed into the east river down around lower Manhattan and Brooklyn. A recent project near my office placed Mannequinesque bronze statues on the rooftops of all the buildings facing Madison Sq. park. Apparently the NYPD got repeated calls from people freaked out by “jumpers” on the skyscrappers. Showing here.
Sometimes the boy talks about the Central Park Gates. I did not exist then. it’s lost on me.
All of these are very fancy very invited art pieces. It’s also fun to watch the graffiti fads come and go. Currently, I love is the moustaches on the subway posters.
There are many of them. They are everywhere.
I think they are so funny.
And my personal favorite:
I think these are hysterical. I always like anything with a bit of meta-humor (like Title of Show actually). And I feel like when this all dies out in a few months I’ll be able to tell people I was here during the “summer of the Mystery Moustaches.”
Lovely! Just Lovely G.J. The mustache graffiti gives me such a giggle and just cheers me up! Sometimes you do lose track of time and yourself in the city. It’s always nice to discover reminders of the journey you’ve made.
What I love about “Moustache” is the fanciful way it’s written – creating a visual throwback to the curly mustachioed villains of old-timey movies, villains that I sometimes wonder: “did they ever actually exist? or have cartoons just featured them so often that I just assumed they were making fun of something that came before?”
It’s classy. And yet, ridiculous. Because there it is on the face of an actress playing a cancer victim.
What I wonder is: why did the artist start this? Why? And why are they seeming to do it more often and in more places? Is it one prolific and hirsute graffiti artist, or a number of copycat goatee-getters?
Someone needs to track this guy, or girl, down. I have many questions my inner subway art critic needs answered.