What Kind of Art Would You Steal From the Subway?

Photo: Stuart Pinkney

Yesterday,  34-year-old New York City teacher James Tavaras was arrested for stealing art. He didn’t grab-and-go during a class trip to the Met; rather, Tavares allegedly pried something from the walls of a No. 6 train, using a screwdriver. What exactly he stole isn’t cited in the complaint, but the Post speculates that it might have been one of those “cartoon fantasy drawings of subway ‘passengers’’ in unusual kinds of vehicles” or  “posters of kids’ artwork.”  Sure, given his profession, the latter seems like a strong possibility, but that’s an awfully narrow definition of art, Post! Why couldn’t it have been a graffitied-up ad?  Perhaps a penis drawn on a poster advertising that Jennifer Aniston movie — a sophisticated statement about the way gender and profit play out in Hollywood, obviously. Or it could have been a subway bench covered with some kind of unidentifiable goop, probably bodily fluid, a true expression of outsider art. So much art to choose from!