About the Exhibition
Following previous Public Art Fund projects that have utilized mass advertising techniques—like Barbara Kruger’s Bus (1997-98)—Simon Grennan (UK) and Christopher Sperandio (b.1964, Kingwood, WV) have created The Invisible City, a tribute to the lives of the ordinary New Yorkers who work the nightshift. One in five subway cars throughout the MTA subway system will feature the artists’ signature comic strips, portraying the real-life experiences of a cable TV technician, a cocktail water at a gay bar, a late-night clerk, and a security guard. Displayed as typical subway ads, the comics tell the real-life gritty stories of the army of nightshift workers that keep New York’s famous 24-hour existence running. The work will also be reproduced in a free comic book with three additional nightshift stories.
Grennan and Sperandio’s The Invisible City re-tells the stories and thoughts of people who work at night in New York City, creating a bridge between those who work the nightshift and those who work during the day. The Invisible City graphically portrays the true stories of New Yorkers who work the graveyard shift between 8pm and 8am. Each participant is represented by a narrative comic strip telling a moment in his or her life that best epitomizes the world of the nightshift. In a city that “never sleeps,” rarely are the individuals who make possible the 24-hour pace of New York recognized or celebrated. The Invisible City brings this often-unseen world of the night shift worker into the lives of the morning commuter through the powerful medium of subway advertising.