An altered version of an AT&T telecoms poster.

For a year now, elusive character "Poster Boy" has been busy in the tunnels of the New York subway, hacking up unsuspecting victims with a razor blade. His prey? Posters, which he mutilates right under the nose of the police.

Poster Boy's methods go by the name of re-contextualisation. By cutting up images and sticking them onto others, he manages to make a mockery of the adverts under his knife. What better place to play than the New York subway, where space and content is unlimited, exposure the best, and costs non-existent. The only catch: the subway staff, who are commissioned with removing Poster Boy's work before anyone gets chance to see it. That's why New Yorkers are taking it upon themselves to snap the works of art before they're taken down, and post them on a Flickr page dedicated to the artist.

 

A hijacked poster from US series "Californication".

A starving child makes this ad seem rather meaningless.

Poster Boy in action - a huge hit online

"The controversy of the legality adds even more excitement to his art"

Keith Haskel is the filmmaker behind this video, which has been viewed almost 750,000 times since it was posted on 18 January.

I typically make sketch comedy or documentary comedy videos. Absurdist pieces that result in randomness or nothing. I love to lead the viewer in one direction and end on a completely different note. The Poster Boy video happened to be completely different, and resulted in, by far, my most successful video to date.

I heard about Poster Boy through the street artist Aakash Nihalani, an artist who was making cubes out of tape all over New York a few months ago. I found Poster Boy's work to be fascinating. The way that he takes something I'm sick of seeing every day and creates it into an interesting piece is very unique. The controversy of the legality adds even more excitement to his art."

"I consider the world's current modus operandi a modern slave system and I intend to challenge it in any way I can"

Former construction worker, Poster Boy, 26, prefers - for obvious reasons - to remain anonymous. He sent us his comment by email.

I started doing this for a few reasons. First and foremost because of my economic situation: I had/ have very little money and space to create art. Second, I've always held strong political views and wanted that to be evident in my work. And lastly, I feel that art should be redefined constantly. It is the obligation of the artist. However, it is also the obligation of the viewer to accept or reject the artist's definition.

I try to avoid being too preachy when it comes to art, but I do have a social and artistic message. Artistically, I try to address the ideas behind copyright, authorship, and originality, all of which I feel inhibit the creative process. Socially, I'd like people to understand that there is a difference between what is right and what is just. If there is a law that is outdated, impractical, and or immoral, shouldn't people have the right to challenge it? Remember, slavery was considered legal at one point. I consider the world's current modus operandi a modern slave system and I intend to challenge it in any way I can. I just stay one step ahead of the authorities. They are the ones that have to deal with me

There needs to be a major shift in how the world operates. A shift from monetary gain as the main concern to environmental coexistence as the main concern. I never expect anything from anyone. However, I know people are innately good. I knew this [project] would spark some genuine interest. I've gained much support. I've also gotten some hateful comments via the internet. I'm not worried about the haters. That hate stems from ignorance and insecurity."

A few other examples...

 

 

From "A Dark Knight".

 

 

A piece created with Aakash Nihalani.

 

From "Gossip Girl".