Brooklyn-based and Swiss born artist Kimou “Grotesk” Meyer, Victory Journal, Juxtapoz Magazine, and Times Square Arts installed the T.SQ Newsstand, a new take on the iconic NYC newsstand of yesterday, to the Broadway plaza between 44th and 45th Street from October 9 - October 18, 2015.
The T.SQ Newsstand was an artful reminder of New York City’s support of artists and printed publications. It offered a roster of hand-picked art and culture magazines, including Juxtapoz, Brooklyn’s own Victory Journal and a limited edition publication featuring Charlie Ahearn, Daniel Arnold, Barbara Kruger, and more.
In June 2009, Juxtapoz Magazine commissioned a cover illustration from Grotesk. The result was an idiosyncratic update of the newsstand, the New York staple that represented a classic version of the city we know and love. In 2014, Grotesk brought the illustration to life, designing, painting and constructing a pop-up installation at the SCOPE Miami Art Show.
The T.SQ Newsstand arrived in Times Square with a fresh face: the 4 x 8 x 8.25 plywood and aluminum structure is waterproof, all of the signs—as well as the marquee—were redone by classically trained sign painters Matt Wright and Mike Langley of Sky High Murals. Some of New York’s most respected graffiti writers were invited to add their own personal touch to the structure. To emulate the New York he idealized, Grotesk built wooden items, including fake cigarette packs, pigeons and more.
The T.SQ Newsstand also featured surprise visits from some of the publication’s contributing artists, including Jason Polan, Jean Jullien, Cheryl Dunn and more. The artists were on-hand to sign their work, sell limited edition prints, books, and rare pieces from their personal archives. Artist residency announcements were made on the day of their appearance.
“When I arrived in New York from Switzerland in 1999, I was trying to find a French newspaper in Midtown. I found one in a very small newsstand on 23rd Street and was immediately fascinated by the raw beauty of the little shack; the feeling that it had been there for 50 years. To follow up on the 2009 Juxtapoz cover illustration of the urban relic, we built a fictionalized newsstand to scale and dropped in the middle of the SCOPE art fair. As a busy, vibrant structure with lots of color, it was a total anomaly in a gallery that normally featured a lot of white space. With the disappearance of the newsstands in NYC, it’s a great opportunity to bring the newsstand to the middle of Times Square, reminding people of the New York that existed not so long ago.” - Kimou "Grotesk" Meyer