Watch Graffiti Artists Take Back Entire Subway Car From Advertisers

October 2, 2014 | Aymann Ismail

“Advertisers have been stealing graffiti tactics for years,” says long-time graffiti writer 2ESAE. SKI adds, “We’re not allowed to paint trains anymore. Who knew that years later… fucking Target could have a full car?”

SKI is referring to the time when the MTA first let a brand wrap an ad entirely around a subway car in 2010. Now, it’s not uncommon to see them taken over by an ad campaign, inside and out. ANIMAL followed the two graffiti artists as they hijacked a J train car at around 3AM, and replaced the ads with their own art in between the time it took to go from one stop to another.


“We’re not trying to sell you something. We’re trying to tell you something,” SKI says. The collaborative duo has made a shift from the streets to the gallery. Their new art exhibit opens tonight in SoHo and it’s all about “the notion that although one’s environment doesn’t change, the way one sees it and what we make of it does, through our experiences.”

If anything, the takeover was definitely cathartic in the face of the bombastic clutter of ever-present subway ads. As SKI says, “Dr Zizmor. Why is that nigga on the train for my whole life?” Some things never change.


“Product of UR Environment,” SKI and 2ESAEPOP International Galleries, SoHo. Opening reception October 2nd, 7pm-10pm. Open to the public October 3rd. (Video, photos: Aymann Ismail/ANIMALNewYork)(Music: Falside)