• Karen Seiger

Don’t Throw Away That Subway Card!

Recognize this face? That’s an easy question. But what I love about this particular vision of Martin Scorsese is the fact that every detail is made from bits of upcycled subway cards. Even his famous black pepper eyebrows.

My eyes met these eyes as I strolled through the BBC Village Craft Fair in May. Artist and Designer Nina Boesch of Metro Card Collages has been gathering discarded subway cards, clipping them into small pieces, and turning them into brilliantly detailed collages for over 10 years. She tells me that she has over 40,000 cards stored in her studio. So luckily she has enough material to make many many more of her riveting images.

Nina’s collages often reflect quintessential New York icons, like Scorsese, Robert DeNiro, Woodie Allen, and Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s. She also recreates landmarks, including the Guggenheim Museum, the Empire State Building, the Brooklyn Bridge, and a traditional New York City water tower.

I am also thrilled that Nina has kept so much material out of the landfill. And if every card she picks up has even a few cents on it, she could actually take a lot of subway rides.

Nina’s original works of art are available for purchase — while they last. (DeNiro’s visage went quickly.) She also creates prints, cards and postcards, each featuring the same amazing detail of the original works.

Nina sells at the occasional artisan market, and she has many amazing images on MetroCardCollages.com. She also does custom pieces. So if there’s an icon on there that you’d like to see recreated in black, yellow and a touch of blue, just let her know.

~Karen Seiger, Markets of New York City

James Dean in New York, Metro Card Collages

New York City Water Tower, Metro Card Collages

Les Miserables PlayBill, Metro Card Collages

Artist and Designer Nina Boesch of Metro Card Collages

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