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In January 2010, 480 New York City taxicabs will be doing more than just shuttling people around. They'll be displaying three different artists' works in lieu of their usual rooftop advertising.
Show Media, the company that places the advertising signs atop of cabs (often referred to as taxi decks) and the Art Production Fund, a non-profit organization that represents art around the city (and also makes those wonderful artist beach towels) have collaborated to replace 480 New York taxicabs' rooftop signage with works of fine art by contemporary artists Shirin Neshat, Alex Katz and Yoko Ono.
above images are simulations of the proposed art. Comprised photo illustrations by Show Media and the Art Production Fund, courtesy of the NY Times
The project, called "Art Adds" will place each of the three artists' works atop 160 cabs a piece throughout the city.
Artist Alex Katz will combine two of his graphic figurative portraits for which he is best known (a forward facing female and a backward facing male) and place them together a top a black background- not unlike his Pas De Deux series of paintings and prints. This will be repeated on both sides of the deck:
Alex Katz, Pas De Deux, 1983:
Alex Katz at work:
above image courtesy of Smithsonian, Pas De Deux, courtesy of the artist
Shirin Neshat, a multimedia Iranian born artist, will decorate the two sides differently. One will feature her photo of illustrated hands clasped in a handshake, the artist’s symbol of unity and solidarity:
The other, shows her photo of an eye, on which the poem titled “I Feel Sorry for the Garden,” by Forough Farokhzad, a celebrated female Iranian poet is written:
The filmmaker, photographer and artist has often integrated written poetry into her photography and films.
Yoko Ono is employing the theme “War Is Over,” a slogan she and John Lennon used when they took their message of peace around the world in 1969-70. It will appear in english on one side and sign language on the other, like Yoko and John's original posters and artwork shown below.
Perhaps this will open the eyes of busy New Yorkers to art, perhaps not. But it certainly is an effort worth noting. You can read more about the project here.
Other New York Taxi Cab related posts:
•It's Official. Everyone HATES the re-designed NYC TAXI logo.
• NYC Taxi Logo Redesign Submissions
•Hope Flowers In New York: Garden In Transit