NYC Subway Art Collages

Nearly all subway stations have inlays in the tiled walls for advertising. For over a century, these inlays have been plastered with wheat-paste and posters were rolled on top, only to be shredded off, re-plastered, re-rolled, and re-shredded, again and again. The resulting collage of color in this accidental artwork is often quite compelling.

Over the last decade, whenever I encountered one I really enjoyed, I snapped a photo. Mostly, I just put these on my Flickr “Textures” gallery, or temporarily use it as the wallpaper on my phone. But recently, I’ve been thinking of printing/framing some of them and hanging them in my apartment or giving them to friends as gifts. What do you think? Leave a comment below or drop me a line if you’re interested.

David Zinn, Chalk Street Art

Michigan illustrator David Zinn has brightened the streets of Ann Arbor with his off-the-wall (or technically on-the-wall) chalk drawings since 1987. The artist works with chalk or charcoal to create site-specific artworks that usually incorporate surrounding features like cracks, street infrastructure, or found objects. Over the years he’s developed a regular cast of recurring characters including a bright green monster named Sluggo and a “phlegmatic flying pig” named Philomena.

Many of Zinn’s artworks are available as archival prints, and he recently published a new book titled Temporary Preserves. You can follow his almost daily street chalk adventures on Instagram and Facebook.

(via Colossal)

Copies of a Copy

In 2007, an investment firm hired my studio, ERA404, to design an “Indiana Jones diary” for a global investor, as a unique way of showcasing their findings from a literacy study they conducted. Part of the project was creating a dozen or so original illustrations from his travels. One of the illustrations was of Huckleberry Finn rafting down the Mississippi River. I confess that I borrowed inspiration from an iconic book cover when creating the artwork.

"Huck Finn River" Google Search ResultsA few weeks ago, a friend and colleague pointed my attention to an article on which incorporated a cropped version of this illustration. On a whim, I did a Google Image Search, and was able to find that this image has been reproduced, re-cropped, and re-used in 8 pages and 90 links worth of results, making it one of the most frequently returned images in Google searches with the keywords “huck finn river”.

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Huckleberry Finn Illustration

Huckleberry Finn Illustration

Guess someone liked my Huckleberry Finn illustration for the Global Investment Literacy client so much, they decided to use it (without mention or credit) on VentureBeat. I suppose plagiarism is the sincerest form of flattery.

See the finished book and all illustrations for this project in the ERA404 portfolio. Follow me @citarella and @era404 on Twitter.

Special thanks to @todd_greene for finding and sharing the link.

Street Art Utopia

Mike found a link on Street Art Utopia, which recently posted the 106 best street art photos of 2013. This gallery shows my favorites, but the site is a wealth of artistic and clever pieces. Take a moment to peruse their gallery to see that there’s more in the world of street art than just Banksy.

Fore-Edge Paintings in 19th Century Books

Fore-edge painting, which is believed to date back as early as the 1650s, is a way of hiding a painting on the edge of a book so that it can only be seen when the pages are fanned out. There are even books that have double fore-edge paintings, where a different image can be seen by flipping the book over and fanning the pages in the opposite direction.

(via This is Colossal)