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Brooklyn Street Art

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“Subway Therapy” Installation Provides Voice to New Yorkers Again

Posted on November 10, 2018

Public space is full of opportunities to shine like a star, bare your soul, set the record straight, and to make a fool of yourself with an audience. And really, what’s the point of doing it alone?

Graffiti writers are said to be communicating with their peers in public space. Street artists are talking to fans, or potential fans.

When you trudge through this dingy and dirty New York City subway hallway you also have the opportunity to have some communal therapy with the people you live here with.

Levee. “Subway Therapy” NYC subway. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

When you see all these post-its art fans may be reminded of installations like Yoko Ono’s “My Mommy is Beautiful” – Hirshhorn Museum a few years back when they see the walls flooded with paper missives. Similarly those who were here in the weeks and months following 9/11 will remember memorials of post-its on subway walls – one in Union Square comes to mind here.

Levee. “Subway Therapy” NYC subway. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

You may have caught this particular post-it therapy installation two years ago by Artist Mathew Chavez during the 2016 election – and most likely your life has never been the same since. One of New York’s financially bankrupt (six times) businessmen and morally bankrupt people had run for the country’s highest seat and he had won.

New Yorkers of all stripes wrote their frustrations and fears and shock and outrage here and posted them publicly as a way to share in a public way the deep emotions that were stirring in many.

Levee. “Subway Therapy” NYC subway. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

This week it appeared in the subway again as the mid-term elections took place across the country and many felt that the tons of dark money had stirred them into a frenzy. Commuters again flocked to the colorful sticky squares to pen their hopes, confessions, desires, opinions and secrets once again in a very private/public way.

Suffice to say that you never really know what the person next to you on the subway is thinking.

Levee. “Subway Therapy” NYC subway. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Levee. “Subway Therapy” NYC subway. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Levee. “Subway Therapy” NYC subway. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Levee. “Subway Therapy” NYC subway. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Levee. “Subway Therapy” NYC subway. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Levee. “Subway Therapy” NYC subway. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Levee. “Subway Therapy” NYC subway. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Levee. “Subway Therapy” NYC subway. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Levee. “Subway Therapy” NYC subway. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Levee. “Subway Therapy” NYC subway. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Levee. “Subway Therapy” NYC subway. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Levee. “Subway Therapy” NYC subway. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Levee. “Subway Therapy” NYC subway. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


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