Artist Ryan McGinness Creates Fabricated Street Signs

Artist Ryan McGinness Creates Fabricated Street Signs
Arts & Culture

The project includes fifty signs with trippy designs and whimsical descriptions

Leah Gonzalez
  • 13 august 2014

Signs, a public art project by artist and designer Ryan McGinness, features funky street signs fabricated and installed by the New York City Department of Transportation all around downtown NYC.

The project includes fifty signs installed and displayed around the Manhattan area until the end of the month. The signs were installed on traffic light posts and lamp posts along the route of the city’s Summer Streets program, a weekly event where about seven miles of NYC’s streets are closed off to allow people to freely and safely run, walk, bike and play.

The fifty signs are made of vinyl on aluminum and were manufactured and published by the DOT itself. The signs feature various contemporary designs in black, red, and white. The artist identifies each sign as a number and he also includes whimsical descriptions for each of the design on his website.


For example, the artist describes Sign No. 01, which features seven eyes stacked on top of each other as “exploding eyes are psychedelic visions inside seven larger eyes representing the seven deadly sins.”

Sign No. 04, which features a potted tree on top of a figure of a man, is described as “fractal growth found in nature is mirrored in food storage solutions kept in balance by man.”

As another example, Sign No. 06 features a figure of a skateboarder and the description goes, “The professional puppet skateboarder kick flips over the border of suburbia (a picket fence) when controlled by a corporate sponsor.”


The other signs feature illustrations of things like a snake with a forked tongue, an aerosol can flame thrower, a ladder to heaven ascending from a rain cloud, a chain link fence, and more. The fifty signs and their descriptions can be found on the artist’s website.

Installation of the signs started in late July and it has been reported that almost all of the signs were removed – most probably stolen – just days after they were installed. Most of the signs have been replaced and the DOT is reportedly working with the police department to find out what happened to the missing signs.

Ryan McGinness

Source: CollabCubed, Complex, WSJ

Images: Ryan McGinness Studios

+new york city

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