The art of the bus stop seat

The Brooklyn Paper
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The newest street art installation in Park Slope might not knock you off your feet — but if it does, at least you’ll have a place to sit.

Artists Paola Mojica and Dan Clapp, working under the moniker SIT Projects, turned a bench-less bus shelter on Union Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues into a more restful place last week by dragging four chairs into the glassy enclave.

“We really wanted to provide a public service,” said Mojica, though added that there’s a political element to her artwork. She hopes the piece will convince the city to provide more seating at train and bus stations.

Indeed, Mojica and Clapp’s mismatching chairs — an aesthetic echo of the Tea Lounge one block up Union Street — are getting plenty of use.

On Wednesday, families lounged in the seats while waiting for the bus.

And even the art experts — in this case, mass transit advocates — are issuing rave reviews.

“It’s a way to really enliven the walking climate by giving greater amenities to pedestrians,” said Wiley Norvell, a spokesman for Transportation Alternatives.

Some people like the artwork too much; when Mojica and Clapp create a similar piece in DUMBO, the seats were quickly stolen.

Of course, everyone’s a critic. An artist who did a similar public-seating project in Williamsburg praised Mojica and Clapp for “addressing the issue of public seating,” but artist Caroline Woolard said the chairs should be “attached to the ground so they couldn’t be removed so easily.”

And the unwashed masses can be such boors!

“What is this?” said one woman who found the chairs a bit, how you say?, ratty. “This is disgusting, this is not art.”

— with Mariel Cohn

Updated 5:06 pm, July 9, 2018
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