Putting the Overlooked on View: Andres Serrano’s Portraits of the Homeless Make a West Fourth Stop


As of May 19, those used to seeing ads lining the corridors of the West Fourth Street subway station are in for a surprise. For a month, those corridors will instead be home to large-scale portraits of homeless people by the artist Andres Serrano.

The project, “Residents of New York,” sponsored by the nonprofit More Art, came out of another one Mr. Serrano, who is best known for his controversial 1987 photograph, Piss Christ, embarked on in the fall. Last October, he said, he began to notice more homeless than ever on the street. He had noticed this before, 20 years ago, and had made studio portraits of the homeless, but he wanted to take a different approach to the subject this time and began paying attention to the handmade signs people held, asking for money or food. He spent October walking the streets of Manhattan for six hours…

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