How Ryan McGinley Got the Attention of 1/4th of New York City

This month, photographer Ryan McGinley is taking over New York City’s Taxi TVs, providing New Yorkers with a brief respite from the usual mish-mash of inane weather forecasts and advertising. From now until February 5, Taxi TV will display a 30-second version of McGinley’s video for the Icelandic band Sigur Ros in the back of 3,000 cabs. The artist teamed up with non-profit Art Production Fund to provide Taxi TV with more compelling content for back-seat viewers, something the co-founders, Yvonne Force Villareal and Doren Remen, thought was lacking.

The collaboration will be the first public art installation of its kind with an estimated two million viewers across the city. Described by McGinley as his “poem to New York City,” the slow motion video follows his friend Jessica Tang, dressed in a golden wig as she skips barefoot through the streets of Manhattan. Shot from mostly aerial views, the dreamlike sequence paints an unusually tranquil portrait of the city in an attempt “to bring childhood innocence to the streets, through a character whose own light and wonder affect the world around her.” In turn, taxi riders can escape the bustle of the city, albeit for only a moment, and embark on an ethereal journey through NYC. We think that’s a pretty good reason not to reach for the off button next time you hop in a cab.

View video HERE.

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