Hi there. How’s your summer been? Did you get out to the Frick or did you perhaps swill some cheap wine on a Thursday night in Chelsea? No? Well, skip the guilt—you can take the subway to get your culture fix. That’s what the organizers of MOVE! A Wearable Art Gallery and Celebration promised.
In this multi-tasking world, there’s no time for museums, so combining commuting, art and partying seems like a good idea. Last Thursday, the Lowbrow Society for the Arts held one of those subway parties, requesting revelers to meet them near the New Museum prior to a journey on the J. They promised they’d be “experimenting with the use of public space, playing with the traditional means of how people view art and ultimately bringing a bit of magic to an unsuspecting rider’s daily journey.” Who doesn’t like magic!? Back in the 1980s, Michael Alig and his club kids had subway parties that were promoted by word of mouth and even old-fashioned telephones. But those guys were handing out Ecstasy. Flash forward to 2009 and instead of euphoric drugs, the lovely reddressed Najy Sol was handing out Entenmann’s Pop ‘Em donut holes.
Organized by Sol and Lenora Jayne, there were about 100 hip artists wearing makeup and costumes on the trip. It was after 9 and the commuters didn’t seem interested in art. In fact, a lot of them seemed skeptical of the whole operation. A few Italian and French tourists joined the group, which disembarked at the Broadway Junction stop and went back toward Manhattan with a stop at Goodbye Blue Monday in Bushwick for drinks.
“This is the third subway party I’ve been to this month,” artist Madelena Pak-Kei Mak told me. She was carrying a poster frame with a pink triangle taped to the outside. “Buy the frame for $4 and return it to Michael’s Crafts for $10.You can make $6,” she advised us. Not a bad idea when times are tight and you have to party on the subway.