Street Artists Hijacking Bus Shelters With Impunity

September 4, 2014 | Bucky Turco

Street artists deploy a variety of methods to get their work seen by the masses. One of these time-honored NYC traditions involves cracking open advertisement kiosks and swapping out the ads with custom art. It’s what put Kaws on the map in the late 1990s and a practice that has been used sporadically since, although lately, it’s happening with increasing frequency. And there’s a very specific reason why.

Someone has been giving out the highly sought after tool that unlocks the ad spaces to artists. “I made keys and gave them out as part of a project I call ‘Public Access‘” said artist and anti-outdoor-ad-crusader Jordan Seiler to ANIMAL. All he asks of the artists is for them to use it.

With the key, kiosks can be accessed and within a few minutes, transformed into rugged picture frames with a shelf life: some last a few hours, others months. ANIMAL rounded up our favorite bus shelter takeovers this year, like this newly installed, Batman-themed one (pictured above). It was done by self-described “wannabe street artist” Myth and as of Wednesday, was still running. Here are some others, most of which only exist now as photographs:


elle_any_ad_sep4_14(Photo: Aymann Ismail/ANIMALNewYork)


qrst_any_sep4(Photo: Aymann Ismail/ANIMALNewYork)


takes_over_apr30_allen(Photo: Bjorn Johansson)

Abner Preis

Abner_bus_takeover_sep4_any(Photo: Public Ad Campaign)


br1_ad_takeover_any_sep4(Photo: Public Ad Campaign)


spectre_no_people(Photo: Public Ad Campaign)

Jordan Seiler

The_leftovers(Photo: Public Ad Campaign)


lister_ad_take_over_any(Photo: Scott Lynch)

And even though it’s not technically in a bus shelter, here’s one last one for good measure:

Clint Mario & ME

clint_Mario_me_ad_takeover(Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Lead photo: Aymann Ismail/ANIMALNewYork)