Sam Horine has an eye for cities. He's one of New York's most well-regarded street and urban landscape photographers. So it's a real treat to see him embracing Art in Ad Places this week, and with a piece that's a bit different from the crisp cityscapes he's known for.
"I'm participating in the Art in Ad Places project because I love the subtlety of it - in so many ways we are bombarded by calls to action and attention by ads every single day and so for this project I chose an image that visually meant nothing - an out of focus image of Manhattan's fabled meatpacking neighborhood - a neighborhood itself so transformed as to be nearly unrecognizable from how I remember it. The image itself is meant to be an abstraction, a color palette, something that you could easily pass by and never notice or something that could stop you and pull you in as you attempt to make sense of the scene." - Sam Horine
We haven't installed much abstract work this year, but it's a powerful thought, that Sam's piece is simultaneously a beautiful photo and something abstract that doesn't demand your attention and allows you to ignore it.
One question we often get is, "Why don't you install a dozen or more copies of each week, instead of just one?" Well, besides printing cost and the time commitment, Sam's poster is an interesting example of something that might work better as a single-installation. Imagine seeing this image in every payphone in a neighborhood. Yes, it would be great to get rid of all of those ads, but after a certain amount of repeat viewing, the image itself would transition from an abstract color palette into an icon of sorts, almost like a logo or an ad itself. And of course there's something romantic about knowing that this modest gift only exists on one little corner this busy city.