Serial Paintings - Over 1,500 Portraits Painted on Subway Tickets by Luc Grateau
Riding the metro day after day can feel like a dehumanizing experience. We push our way on to a crowded train, share a moment in time with our fellow travelers and then go our separate ways. Lives interconnect without a word - without knowing if someone is sick, or if they lost their job, or if it's their birthday, or if they just had a new baby. We don't care. We don't want to know. They're only with us for a short time and then they're gone...
That's why I was so pleased to see some of Luc Grateau's 1,500 oil paintings of fellow passengers on metro tickets in a display case at the Musée des Arts et Métiers.
As described by Grateau:
Paintings on subway tickets. This project began in the fall 2004. Each painting is the result of a subway ride, the reflection of a chance encounter. I wanted to remember all of the anonymous faces and gazes of the people I share my journey with, so every day I paint the portrait of a fellow passenger on a ticket - bound by the constraints of colour, size, movement and time. I try to retain the memory of all those I have come across but, over time, the memory fades and all this is left behind is the portrait.