Trafficking Art: Yoko Ono, Shirin Neshat and Alex Katz Drive Out Commerce

APF's Doreen Remen, Casey Fremont and Yvonne Force Villareal

"War is Over!" declares the top of one, then another and yet another yellow taxicab on the streets of New York. It's not brain freeze affecting those darling schmucks back east, as they suffer through this bitter winter (my friends there emailed me about waking up to snow this a.m.!).
But it is the evergreen conviction of so many of us who have grown up with that now-iconic declaration from Yoko Ono and her late-soulmate John Lennon.
Emblazoned on some 160 cab ad cones in both English and sign language, it's also one of three mobile artworks roaming that art-loving metropolis courtesy of those art maniacs at Art Production Fund, the nonprofit cofounded by Doreen Remen and Yvonne Force Villareal with director Casey Fremont at the helm.
Painter Alex Katz, whose abstract realist portraiture is so inspired by his New York, debuted two recent works as his contribution.
And Iranian-born Shirin Neshat's "Offered Eye" depicts a 1960's Persian poem,
“I Feel Sorry for the Garden,” by Forough Farokhzad, scrolled over a woman's eye, and, on the other the side of the ad cone, a handshake between two hands decorated in calligraphy from the "Women of Allah" series.

ART ADDStaxi by Shirin Neshat

Show Media gave APF 500 taxi tops for the project, which were split in three among the trio of artists. The donation represents about $100,000 in monthly revenue for the Las Vegas company, which owns about half the cab cones in Gotham. But apparently it wasn't a stretch for Show Media co-owner John Amato, a contemporary art enthusiast, who was only to thrilled to participate.
The month-long mobile art show is called "Art Adds" as not only a nod to its advertising platform, but because it contributes to the public dialogue of art.

Art and commerce have always shared a cushy kinship, and never so much as in the modern and postmodern context. Let's hope APF considers going on the road with this concept in that most auto-centric city of all, L.A.

(Thank you to Yvonne for sharing this latest project of APF's with LVER.)

Photos Courtesy Show Media & Art Production Fund

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