SVA alumnus Clay Patrick McBride (BFA 1995 Photography, MPS 2013 Digital Photography) knew early on that success would depend on getting his work noticed. He hustled relentlessly, creating a newspaper of his images to leave on the subway and hand out to everyone from junior art directors to receptionists at record companies. Before long, his client roster grew with A-listers including LeBron James, Allen Iverson, Jay-Z, Norah Jones, Kid Rock, Metallica and Brian Wilson.
Dozens of album covers, print campaigns, short films and music videos later, McBride’s photographs are now on the radar of thousands of New York City subway riders every day. Three of his eye-catching images debuted on subway platforms December 1 and will be on view through January 25 as part of the SVA subway poster series.
Each poster depicts a subway scene and reads I am a work in progress. The former BFA Photography faculty member explains, “That’s what I always tell my students: making art is a process. It changes and evolves according to what’s going on around you.”
McBride sees subway art as a great metaphor for SVA. “The journey of an artist through the world is different from the average person’s journey. These posters are calling out, ‘Come see the power of visual art.’ And SVA is about empowerment.”
He says he was “blown away” to be invited by Anthony P. Rhodes, executive vice president of the College and creative director of its advertising, to contribute to the SVA subway poster series. “It’s a huge compliment to be part of the legacy and a privilege to have my personal work used in this context.”
To see more of McBride’s subway imagery, take the F or M train to the storefront installation of his work at Foley Gallery, 59 Orchard Street, from January 21 through February 22.
Lettering on the posters by Ryan Durinick (BFA 2009 Graphic Design), senior designer, Visual Arts Press, with design direction by Michael Walsh, director of design and digital media, Visual Arts Press.