Altered images, subway edition

Altered Bridesmaids movie poster, Nassau Avenue G, 2011

Subway riders to bridesmaids: "RIDE ME"; Nassau Ave G, 2011

Subway posters aren’t designed to be interactive, but sometimes they get hijacked—graffitied, blackened, torn and rearranged. Generally, I enjoy the results. The posters are ads to consume or deflect, not frescoes to revere.

The altered versions tend to conform to just a few common themes. It isn’t exactly original to draw a moustache on someone—Duchamp milked that act of appropriation for all it’s worth when he drew one on the Mona Lisa in 1919. The charm is in the execution. Anarchic sentiment, gender ambiguity, casual misogyny and bloodlust… all themes explored by artists from Dada and Surrealism through feminist art and Japanese printmaking.

The Moustache

Duchamp's "L.H.O.O.Q", 1919; mustachioed subway poster, Nassau Avenue G, 2011

"L.H.O.O.Q." = "Elle a chaud au cul" ~ "She's got a party in her pants"; Nassau Ave G, 2011


If you want to make fun of a man, turn him into a woman.

Magritte's 'Le Viol'; graffiti transgendering

René Magritte's 'Rape'; Metropolitan Ave G, 2011 & Clinton-Washinton G, 2005


Go Island of Dr. Moreau.

Surrealist doll photo, Hans Bellmer, 1934; head-to-toe, Metropolitan Avenue G, 2011

Hans Bellmer's surrealist doll photo; Metropolitan Ave G, 2011


Hate me because I’m beautiful.

"Your body is a battleground," Barbara Kruger, 1989; defaced subway poster, Metropolitan Avenue G, 2011

Barbara Kruger; Metropolitan Ave G, 2011


Put some blood on it.

"Issunbōshi & A Nobility," Kazuichi Hanawa, 1988; Carlito the Bad Apple crushes a baby, Clinton-Washington G, 2005

Suehiro Maruo and Kazuichi Hanawa give traditional muzan-e (atrocious prints) a gory update in artbook Bloody Ukiyo-e in 1866 & 1988; Clinton-Washington G, 2005

One Response to “Altered images, subway edition”
  1. Thank you so much for commenting on my blog yesterday. Your kind words of encouragement mean the world to me. I look forward to sharing vintage with you for years to come!

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