Arteries is a captivating and thought-provoking piece of art by PJ O’Rourke that reimagines the iconic New York City Subway Map in the shape of a human heart. This unique design is a testament to the artist’s personal journey and deep connection with the city's subway system, and it serves as a powerful symbol of the vital role that the MTA and the subway play in shaping the artist’s life and the city itself.
PJ’s relationship with the MTA is the central theme of the piece: “It’s the reason why I am where I am today. In the early days of my career, I used to sell my art in the Union Square subway station. It was in this station that I found inspiration for this illustration.”
In this art piece, the traditional boroughs of New York City have been shifted and shaped to resemble the contours of a human heart, emphasizing his emotional connection to the city and its transportation network. Above this heart-shaped base, the subway lines are depicted as intricate, interconnected veins and arteries, showcasing the subway as the lifeline of the city. The subway map, in its familiar and iconic form, takes on new meaning as it symbolizes the very essence of New York.
“The subway is the heartbeat of the city. Without those veins and arteries that are the subway lines within my design, New York wouldn't be New York.”
This remarkable art design invites viewers to contemplate the profound impact of the MTA and the subway on the city and its residents. It serves as a powerful reminder of the intricate network that keeps the city alive and pulsating, much like a human heart. Arteries is a beautiful fusion of art and urban symbolism, and it invites all who encounter it to appreciate the heartbeat of New York City.
“This is by far my favorite design. It’s literally been keeping my heart beating.” - PJ O’Rourke