Artist Installs Cardboard Studio Apartment On MTA Subway

Cardboard studio apartment in a MTA subway yesterday

Of the many oddities you’ll encounter on your daily commute through New York’s boroughs, this one may rank up there. Installed in the corner of an N train yesterday morning was an intricately crafted cardboard apartment featuring curtains, framed art, a steaming pot of food on a stove, along with several other handcrafted pieces. The installation echoes that of Thomas Hirschorn’s ornate cardboard installations.

Although nothing is worse than hearing the warbled overhead MTA subway operator announce a train delay, a large portion of reddit commentators—most likely pre-coffee employees—largely found it a nuisance to their morning trudge.

Rather than avenging the everyday commute, it’s more likely that the anonymous artist was attempting a multilayered commentary on the transient lifestyle of New Yorkers. The work nods to the search of the elusive dream apartment. But phrases marked on the sides of the pieces, such as “YOU could be me” and “get to know the person,” may be attaching a sense of humanity to the number of homeless people who traverse the subway.

If nothing else the cardboard studio apartment is another example of the enduring presence of artists and vibrant art in MTA subways.

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