Last week posters poppud up throughout the East and West Village containing images from Residents of New York. It was interesting to see the juxtaposition of the guerrilla marketing ad-space with Serrano’s portraits of the homeless. Similar to the exhibition at the W. 4th Street Subway Station, these posters are an alternative to the constant barrage of commercial ad space. It’s evident that these images are not selling anything and that there is a message that seeks the viewers attention. If these posters make you stop and think about homelessness, poverty, and elicit feelings on the subject, then they have done their job. While we were looking at the images, a man in a wheelchair named John spoke with us. John (asked not to be photographed) became homeless because of a motorcycle accident. He is also a diabetic and his insurance company wouldn’t cover the costs of his medical bills. John recognized most of the individuals that participated in Residents of New York. John’s story could happen to anyone. Healthcare is a major issue in this country. It is an outrage for someone to lose their home because they cannot receive adequate and affordable care and are neglected by the system that they are reliant on to protect and serve them. The cost of life is higher than ever in New York City, and yet not enough has been done to make life livable for a vast majority of residents.
A man ponders the meaning of the posters.
Be sure to view Residents of New York at the W. 4th Street Subway Station, LaGuardia Place (between W. 3rd and Bleecker St.), and on Phone booths around the city!