Scratch-Off Art in NYC Subways

October 15, 2014

Subway Mosaic 1

This article in the New York Times shared some interesting photos by photographer Kevin Shea Adams of print advertisements in NYC subway stations. Layers and layers of old advertisements exist behind the current ads and when scratched-off curious, collage-like art is produced. Here are a few images from the article that caught my interest and an excerpt:


To subway riders feeling impatient, restless or a little destructive, the print advertisements lining the walls of a station can make irresistible targets. Kevin Shea Adams, a photographer, began taking iPhone shots of ads in various states of decay and modification about four years ago. When layered on top of one another, the ads produce collage like art, as strips are peeled away to reveal underlying images. “They’re participatory, they’re public, they’re sort of chaotic and random,” he says. Because Adams commutes between Bushwick and Greenpoint, most of the stations he has frequented are in Brooklyn, where they tend to be less well maintained. “The ads are very tactile,” he says. “When you’re standing waiting for a train, bored out of your mind, you just want to pull them.” Julie Bosman

Subway Mosaic 3

Subway Mosaic 2

(Photos by Kevin Shea Adams.)



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