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Artwork: The Commuter's Lament-A Close Shave (Norman B. Colp)

From nycsubway.org

Location: 42nd Street-Port Authority Bus Terminal ยท Installed: 1991

This little poem, inspired by the famous Burma Shave ad campaign, was commissioned by the MTA arts program in the 1990s as a temporary installation, but it is still installed, in the transfer corridor from the IND 8th Avenue/42nd St. station to the Times Square subway station complex (7th Ave, Broadway, Flushing, and Shuttle stations). The lines actually appear mounted on the overhead I-beams, approximately every fifth beam. The photo here is a montage of the installation.

The artist wrote to us in November, 2006, about the installation: The work is incomplete, for the last panel (a 24"x36" B/W image of a slept-in bed) was removed for the station renovation last year. I do not have any info from Arts for Transit when it will be reinstalled. Also missing are wall labels at the beginning and end of the sequence which identifies the work as THE COMMUTER'S LAMENT or A CLOSE SHAVE. The second part of the title also refers to Burma Shave, a men's product (1930's to 60's approx) which was well known for series of signs, like my homage.

The New York Times recently reported that Mr. Colp passed away Aug. 28, 2007. It was noticed in 2011 that the final panel had been reinstalled.

Photo Gallery


Image 49636
(186k, 602x930)
Photo by: Robbie Rosenfeld
Location: 42nd Street/Port Authority Bus Terminal
Artwork: The Commuter's Lament/A Close Shave (Norman B. Colp)

Image 130451
(88k, 1024x768)
Photo by: Robbie Rosenfeld
Location: 42nd Street/Port Authority Bus Terminal
Artwork: The Commuter's Lament/A Close Shave (Norman B. Colp)











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