NYC Metrocard Art

While visiting a number of art galleries in NYC, we happened upon a show at Sloan Fine Art called "Single Fare" which had a large number of art works, all with one thing in common: the art was created on (or using) a NYC transit Metrocard. For those of you not familiar with a Metrocard, it is a fare card used to ride the subways in NYC. One would think that being constrained with the format of using a small plastic card would make for a narrow range of art, but as you'll see below, the artists in this show came up with a lot of creative ideas.


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installation view of the Single Fare art exhibition featuring customized NYC Metrocards

Below we've got a standard original NYC Metrocard (top left), surrounded by 3 pieces from the show. Unfortunately, there were so many artists in this show, I didn't get the names of the various artists.

original art made using NYC Metrocards

We thought this next group of Metrocard art pieces were the most technically-impressive works in the show - the artist has carved contour lines in the card to make interpretations of famous pictures and icons. But they're not readily apparent until one hangs them an inch off the wall and lets the light shine through, creating the "shadow art" on the wall. Can you make out the iconic images below? At left, a close-up view of Michelangelo's "David." Below right, we got (starting from the left side) Michael Jackson, Jack Nicholson from "The Shining," Charlie Chaplin, the Statue of Liberty, Yoda, and another view of Michelangelo's David.

original art depicting iconic images and celebrities using stencil cut NYC Metrocards



Another cool thing about this show was that it was open to any artist who wanted to participate; the only requirement was that the work had to be submitted on a used MetroCard. The gallery's press release stated that the artists were "inspired by the notion that the city’s subways and buses allow for a kind of creative interchange unmatched in human history." I'm not sure how many artists truly bought into that idea, but I'd guess a high percentage just thought it was a fun idea to paint on a little plastic card. Here's a slideshow with additional highlights from the exhibition:





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