The MetroCard is getting a limited-edition makeover.
On Wednesday, 50,000 MetroCards created by artist Barbara Kruger will be released at select subway stations in Manhattan and Queens.
Kruger, a conceptual artist and collagist, is most known for her black and white photography overlaid with direct and concise statements.
Pulling inspiration from her work, the bright red MetroCards will feature bold questions in white lettering on the back, including “Who is healed” “Who is housed?” “Who is silent?” and “Who speaks?”
The MetroCards will be randomly released from ticketing machines at the Queensboro Plaza, Broadway-Lafayette Street, East Broadway, and the 116th Street B and C subway stations. Don’t bother standing in line at a booth though, they will only be available through the automated ticketing machines.
The limited-edition MetroCards are being released as part of a broader art series by Kruger for the Performa Biennial, which begins on Wednesday. The Biennial, which runs through Nov. 19, is an annual showcase of commissions and live performance art spread out across New York City.
“Performa provides an extraordinary platform for showing the important role of art in society,” RoseLee Goldberg, founding director and chief curator, says on Performa’s website. “Through live performance we touch people directly, change their minds, and introduce them viscerally to the complicated emotional and aesthetic expressions of artists responding to the world that we inhabit.”
On Wednesday, Kruger will be joined by the parks department’s Manhattan Borough Commissioner William Castro and Deputy Director of Public Art Jennifer Lantzas for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to kick off the Biennial. The ceremony will take place at the Coleman Playground Skate Park on the Lower East Side around 10 a.m.
The MetroCard has undergone similar transformations in the past. High-end streetwear company Supreme released limited-edition, two-swipe MetroCards for $5.50 in February, some of which ended up on eBay with asking prices upward of $100.
With Vincent Barone