1. Home
  2. Agencies and Departments
  3. MTA Arts & Design
  4. The Commuter's Lament/A Close Shave

The Commuter's Lament/A Close Shave

Times Sq-42 St/42 St-Port Authority Bus Terminal (1/2/3/7/A/C/E/N/Q/R/W/S)

The Commuter's Lament/A Close Shave

Norman B Colp
Artwork in porcelain enamel showing words of a poem installed on the overhead beams.
“The Commuter's Lament/A Close Shave” by Norman B Colp at 42 St-Port Authority Bus Terminal Photo: Rob Wilson

About the project

The poem, titled "The Commuter's Lament/A Close Shave," was written by Norman B Colp and was inspired by the famous Burma Shave ad campaign, a men's product that was well known for series of signs across the U.S in the 1920s. The artwork was originally commissioned as a temporary installation, and remains installed in the transfer corridor from 42 St-Port Authority Bus Terminal to Times Sq-42 St. The poem reads: “Overslept, so tired, if late, get fired. Why bother? Why the pain? Just go home, do it again.” The lines appear mounted on the overhead I-beams, approximately every fifth beam.

About the artist

Norman B Colp (1944-2007) was a conceptual artist and curator from the Bronx. Colp received his bachelor's degree in art from Queens College in 1967 and studied at the Pratt Institute and Parsons School of Design. Colp's solo exhibitions include ones held at Hundred Acres Gallery in New York, and Victoria and Albert Museum, in London, England. He was also represented in group exhibitions at the Alternative Center for International Arts, Franklin Furnace, Artworks, and Boca Raton Museum of Art, among others.