Every Person In New York Is In This Art Book... Give Or Take About 8 Million Of Them
If you live in NYC, you may just be the star of a new book, in which an artist has tried to draw Every Person in New York . The book contains the black-and-white sketches of 30,000 New Yorkers that he’s drawn so far, but his project is far from over. Jason Polan wants to draw all 8 million — and while he knows it’s a pretty impossible mission, he told The Huffington Post that he’s willing to work at it forever.
Polan has always loved drawing “sets of things”; he once drew an entire bag of popcorn, and twice drew every piece of artwork in the Museum of Modern Art. You know, as you do. So while to me, the idea of drawing everybody in New York sounds like a massive chore — to Polan, it sounds crazy-satisfying.
Since 2008, Polan has been uploading all his sketches to his blog, also named Every Person In New York . He doesn’t draw anyone from memory; every sketch in his book is a representation of exactly what he could see at that moment. That’s why some of the drawings have a ton of detail, and some are just an outline of a figure in movement as they pass him by — and some are a blurred glimpse of New York’s very own “celebrities”.
Some people request to be drawn: if you message Polan a time, place, and description of you, he will try to show up and draw you. Don’t expect him to come and chat, though; Polan prefers to sketch people from afar and catch them at their most natural. So, if you see someone staring at you and scribbling in a notebook, it may not be a creepy stalker; you might be about to appear as part of this super-cool art project! (Of course, it’s probably just a creepy stalker.)
Over the last seven years, Polan has captured some beautiful, intimate, and funny moments from the people he shares his city with — and you might be one of them. I know I’ll be poring through the book in the hope that Polan drew me that one time I was in New York three years ago, so if you actually live there, I seriously recommend you get searching straight away. And if that’s not reason enough to buy it, Every Person In New York also has a foreword by none other than Kristen Wiig — so now what are you waiting for?
Image: Spencer Platt/Getty Images