Art from a MetroCard: Scenes from Single Fare 3By
Everyday, millions of New Yorkers carry with them an oft-overlooked piece of plastic. The MetroCard symbolizes so much about the city and its subway riders, but we usually just take it for granted. Sometimes, it works; sometimes, it doesn’t; sometimes, it expires.
One day in the unknown future, the MTA will replace the MetroCard with something else. What that something else will be is still up for debate. It will likely be a sturdier piece of plastic, and something we don’t discard by the millions every day, week or month. For now, though, the MetroCard endures, a stubborn reminder of the MTA’s tenuous relationship with modern technology.
For a group of artists, though, the MetroCard is a blank slate. It can be deconstructed and recomposed. It can serve as a small blank canvas for city scenes, abstract art or anything really, and for the next few days, thousands of these MetroCards are on display at a gallery in Tribeca. Called Single Fare 3, the exhibit at the RH Gallery includes paintings, sculptures, drawings, photography and even video. Some pieces are easily recognizable as a MetroCard while others transfer these 2×3 inch canvasses into something else entirely.
I’ve stopped by the exhibit twice over the last few days and have walked away with purchases of two of the cards. For everyone else with even just a little bit of time on their hands, check it out. The show runs through February 22 at the RH Gallery, 137 Duane St. The gallery is open from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. through the end fo the exhibit. Some of my favorite MetroCards, captured in photos, are in the slideshow below. Others are available via my Instagram account.