Mar 4, 2009

Focus On An Artist

A few months ago I saw a story on the local news about an artist who does his work in the subway. Ok, so a lot of artists work down there but what was special about this artist was his medium. He uses the MTA Subway maps as his canvas and sharpies and paint pens as his medium. I Googled a few combinations and found several articles and images of his work. I know I'm biased because I'm a New Yorker but his works and story are impressive. Take a look:

I found a short bio on Enrico Miguel Thomas is this talented artist's name and he earned a BFA at my alma mater, Pratt Institute. It sounds like he had a tough childhood and hopes to one day contribute some of his earnings from art to other children who have suffered abuse.

I love you Enrico! And your art! And your cause! I'm so upset I haven't run into you on the platform. Especially while waiting for the L at 14th Street. (Lord knows I've spent a lot of time there!)

I think what I really dig about his work is it's energy. His use of the subway map is so perfect for his subject matter and style. Constant people and movement. Sometimes we lose ourselves in the chaos of life in the city. I know I have. "People are just going through their lives and they're not really paying attention to the beauty around them. It's my job as an artist to bring that to the table. To show people 'hey look you are surrounded by beauty even if you are consumed by a 9-to-5 workday.'" Well said. And even if I haven't run into you on the platform, thanks for making me stop and reflect.

You know what else I love? He's made friends with lots of MTA workers who gladly give him the free MTA maps. (Uh-oh, I probably just gave the MTA another way to increase revenue!)

Which station does this guy work in?! He looks like the friendliest MTA worker I've ever seen! (Oh, I'm kidding! You're all lovely.) You gotta love NY! It's really unbelievable the amount of talent that is just wandering around, doing their thing, living their life.

The work above is of a homeless couple Enrico came across. There is brief description of his experience drawing them and an excellent article about Enrico and his life at the Sun Sentinel. Keep up the good work Enrico! I'm keeping you on my radar! And if anyone I know happens to need a present for me (Anyone? Anyone?), this is what I want!

Photos courtesy of,, and the Sun Sentinel.


Megan said...

where can i buy one!?
excellent...these are the stories that i love.

Enrico said...

Hi Megan, Enrico here, the Subway Artist of New York. Glad you enjoyed the work--and thanks so much to Material Girls for the feature on me! If you (or anyone else)are interested in purchasing a drawing, please email me at so that i can arrange for either myself or my representative to show you my work...thanks again for your interest and support:) Enrico