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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3 Responses to “On an Uncommissioned Masterpiece from the 163rd Street Subway Station”

  1. 1 James van Maanen

    Shoot! I thought I commented on this several days ago. What happened? Am I still that technology-imparied? I think I noted that this reminded me of two recently-released to DVD documentaries: “Who the #%&@ is Jackson Pollack” and “My Kid Could Paint That”–both of which are very much worth checking out. As is The Gay Recluse–day after day after day.

    How does he do it so consistently? His recent biddy-bioography, posted on April Fool’s Day (hmmmm…) and accompanied by shots of trees, is also quite wonderful. I like his thoughts about the world we live in (esp. his comments on the NY Times columnists and his “appreciation” of the late Arthur C. Clarke) but I REALLY like finding out these little bits and pieces of his past life, the most recent of which actually fills in a lot of blanks.

  2. 2 James van Maanen


  1. 1 expressionism

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