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‘New York’ magazine covers become public art in citywide installation

Look out for magazine covers-turned-posters by Yoko Ono, Barbara Kruger, and more

In honor of New York Magazine’s 50th anniversary, the publication is launching a year-long exhibit showcasing specially-designed New York covers by 50 renowned artists, called simply “A Public Art Project.”

Today, the first eight covers—created by Yoko Ono, Barbara Kruger, Rob Pruitt, Alex Katz, Hank Willis Thomas, Mel Bochner, John Giorno and Marilyn Minter—were unveiled and rolled out at 25 locations across the five boroughs. The covers are displayed in various sizes and formats, including “wild postings,” on street lamp banners, and giant versions; they’ll continue being rolled out through the fall when, come October, an exhibit of all 50 will debut.

My New York Artist Covers: Rob Pruitt
Image courtesy of Rob Pruitt and New York Media

“When it came to thinking about our anniversary, and the theme of everyone’s own ‘My New York,’ we suddenly got very excited about what might happen if 50 artists used the confines of a New York cover to say something about what the city looks like to them right now,” New York Media’s business and strategy editor, David Haskell, told artnet News.

In addition to 50 New York covers, the magazine will further celebrate its golden anniversary with a variety of special art, music, comedy, film, and food events, to be announced throughout the year, according to a press release.

All but two of the initial batch of covers center largely around politically-minded, minimalist text, with the outliers—by Katz and Pruitt, respectively—featuring a line drawing of a man on his phone and Milton Glaser’s “I ♥ NY” design written out in emoji. Katz created a number of similarly styled line drawings which featured on New York’s 50th anniversary cover back in October.

New York is keeping most of the locations under wraps, but have announced an installation at Smorgasburg and a High Line show. And keep an eye on Twitter for where to nab a free poster.

My New York Covers: John Giorno
Image courtesy of John Giorno and New York Media
My New York Covers: Alex Katz
Image courtesy of Alex Katz and New York Media

Meanwhile, for those in more of a mood for magazine’s vintage covers, New York announced a partnership with art marketplace last month, where it is selling prints (starting at $40) of its most iconic covers over the past 50 years.