Police Nail Subway Ad Defacer Artist…Or Do They?


The young man who defaces subway signage in the name of art has been nabbed by the police, or so the police believe. Operating under the tag Poster Boy, 27-year-old Brooklyner Henry Matyjewicz uses a razor blade to twist the copy and the images in various subway ads to give them new meanings and artistic flair.

Police were tipped off that Poster Boy was to be feted at a downtown art gallery Saturday night, reports the New York Times, so some plainclothes police attended the event and arrested Matyjewicz.

I don’t mean to trigger class warfare here, and certainly not all police would be out of place at an art gallery, but it’s sort of funny to picture the plainclothes guys sipping Chard at the Soho event. Undercover cops don’t seem that hard to spot–if you see a guy in a moustache and Giants jersey in the East Village, chances are he draws a paycheck from the NYPD. He’d probably stand out more at an art gallery. For some reason, the image of Joe Pesci and Robert DeNiro discussing the painting at Pesci’s mom’s house in Goodfellas comes to mind–“One dog goes one way, the other dog goes the other way, and this guy’s sayin’, “Whadda ya want from me?”

Anyway, the police may or may not have the right guy. As befits shadowy subway defacers, no one seems completely sure if the guy they locked up in Rikers Saturday night is indeed the man known as Poster Boy.

“Henry is one of many individuals who believe in the Poster Boy ‘movement,’ ” the man wrote later on Tuesday in an e-mail message, referring to Mr. Matyjewicz in the third person. “Henry’s part is to do legal artwork while propagating the ideas behind Poster Boy. That’s why it was O.K. for him to take the fall the other night.”

Here’s a link to his work.

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