For those of us who live outside the Big Apple, and have thus never taken a ride on their local public transit, a MetroCard is a plastic card used as the payment method for access to subways and buses. They’re as much a part of NYC living as yellow cabs and crowded sidewalks, a necessary accessory though nothing particularly exciting. It’s a bus card. What’s so cool about that?
Ask German artist Nina Boesch. By chopping 30,000 MetroCards into pieces, Boesch has created fantastic portraits of famous faces—John Lennon, Woody Allen, Audrey Hepburn, Itzhak Perlman, James Dean—as well as recreating iconic images of New York—the Brooklyn Bridge and Lincoln Center. The mosaics sell for upwards of $2500, each a unique compilation of the cut-up cards. Her site, MetroCardYourself, is dedicated to showcasing Boesch’s MetroCard masterpieces. It’s amazing to see something so mundane used so brilliantly—sort of makes you wonder what other greatness could come out of those things lying around that we rarely pay a second glance.