Last week Show Media, a company that sells ad space on the tops of roughly one quarter of New York City cabs, announced its second annual initiative to use 500 such rooftop billboards for the display of contemporary art. The excellent project, which runs through the end of the month, featrues Chuck Close (pictured) and Kehinde Wiley (last year was Yoko Ono and Alex Katz), but we can think of at least five artists whose work we’d rather see flying past us on the street.
Anything by Bill Viola: Because how uncanny to be standing on a corner with pedestrians and cars whizzing by and come face to face with high-def strangers moving in super-slow motion?
Ed Ruscha‘s “Every Building on the Sunset Strip” (1966): Not sure how one would display this on a cab rooftop—either in excerpts, or over a string of cabs that must perpetually keep formation as they cross the city in order to conserve the integrity of the artwork—but the stark contrast between New York City urbanism and Los Angeles’s auto-centric sprawl would be fascinating.
Liz Cohen’s “Trabantimino” (2002-2010): The Detroit-based artist’s spectacular car mod sculpture is a functioning, Transformer-ish hybrid of the East German people’s car, the Trabant, and the classic American muscle car, the El Camino. Put that on top of a yellow NYC cab and blow pedestrians’ minds.
Adel Abdessemed’s “Practice zero tolerance (Clio)” (2006): This terracotta shell of a bombed out French car would certainly make a for a grim site on the city streets, and probably make people think twice about hopping into cabs.
Anything by Valerie Hegarty: The Brooklyn-based sculptor and installation artist’s destroyed, molded, overgrown and otherwise irreparably damaged facsimiles of historical artworks would certainly be a welcome change from the glossy images we’ve become so used to ignoring.