On an Uncommissioned Masterpiece from the 163rd Street Subway Station


In which The Gay Recluse contemplates an uncommissioned masterpiece from the walls of an uptown subway station.

Consider, if you will, one of the old panels on the subway platform wall, and observe the finely wrought precision with which each strip of peeling paint has by the hands of time been distressed in the subtlest shades of gold and silver, all displayed in a collage with the glue and paper of generations long deceased. We know there will be many who fail to see the beauty of these forgotten panels, and will respond to our assessment with scorn and disbelief. Yet before you judge, we again invite to you to behold the works in person. Here you have the abstract expression of the city itself, resplendent in decay and neglect, and to observe it for even these few seconds fills us with the transcendent bliss of true insignificance.

— The Gay Recluse, September 2007

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One Response to “On an Uncommissioned Masterpiece from the 163rd Street Subway Station”

  1. 1 James van Maanen

    Shades of “My Kid Could Paint That” and “Who the @#&% Is Jackson Pollack” — two fascinating “art” and “people” documentaries recently released to DVD
    (link here: http://guru.greencine.com/archives/2008/03/art_commerce_my_1.html ).
    No kidding, TGR, you really know how to “spot” things–and then make something interesting and thoughtful out of what your eye has seen. Wish I could drag you around with me on a daily basis so that I would be able to “see” better. (And if you took the photo that accompanies this piece, clearly, you “frame” well, too!) In the workaday grind that has most of us in its grip, we so easily miss what’s in front of our face. Thank you for reminding us of what is out there, waiting….

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