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Real-life 'average looking' gay couple to appear in NYC subway mosaic

 Real-life gay couple Thor Stockman and Patrick Kellogg in new subway station mural.
Photo credit:
New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority via AP

New York subways famous mosaic artworks will be getting a new non-traditional addition at its 72nd street platform scheduled to open on January 1.

Brazilian artist Vik Muniz is creating a project called “Perfect Strangers” and chose couple Thor Stockman and Patrick Kellogg to represent the LGBT community.

The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) had been keeping the project under wraps until yesterday when they announced Muniz’s plans for the new station.

“For 72nd Street, Vik Muniz photographed more than three dozen ‘characters’ who represent all of the unique and quirky kinds of people one encounters on the subway." MTA said in a statement. 

“These photographs have been re-created in mosaic and installed throughout the mezzanine and entrance areas, populating the station with colorful New Yorkers of all stripes.”

In an interview to the Associated Press the artist says he just wanted to capture everyday people, and everyday slices of life.

“They are just people you would expect to see...You would expect to see men holding hands,” he said.

The photo of Stockman and Kellogg was taken three years ago, and they only found out that the portrait would be included in the project a few months back.

“It was like winning the lottery,” said Stockman.

Kellogg adds that the image is different that what one usually sees in the mainstream

“Our friends were even happier that this is gay representation that is not incredibly beautiful and skinny,” he said.

Queer art history expert Jonathan David Katz said the image might be the only non-political and permanent representation of the LGBT community in all the city

"What makes it a turning point is it isn't gayness singled out and made the theme. On the contrary, the work naturalizes gayness within the fabric of the city, and in so doing, that's actually an even more powerful message," said Katz.