At the Prince Street subway stop, you’ll find the platform walls lined with everyday people walking a long piece of caution tape: mothers and strollers, children and dogs, students with backpacks, a woman struggling with her laundry bag, homeless people pushing shopping carts, and a boy with his longboard held high. But somewhere in the midst, there’s a woman interrupted, a man and his daughters stumped by the sight of figure in white. It’s wearing a gas mask while scanning for radiation. Is the joke on them, or does the lone wraith know something they don’t?
Welcome to the world of Jilly Ballistic. She’s been hanging her wheat paste work in the subway system for years, but this is the first time I’ve seen one intact. She specializes in war imagery–specifically scenes from World War I or World War II–although it’s not unusual to catch her doing word play too. According to her Instagram @jillyballistc, the piece she posted at Prince Street has been there since March 28th, so that would make it around two weeks old. As you might expect, the MTA doesn’t take too kindly to these things, but I hope this one stays. It blends in well with both the surrounding caricatures and the war-like sentiment of these current times.
Photo by Rick Stachura. Prince Street R/W Station. April 11, 2019.