It is so peculiar and serendipitous that in researching Duke Riley, who created the art in the photo, I found that on September 15, 2010, I had already written about Riley and his exploration of U Thant Island. On further examination, I see that we have many other interests in common, particularly a strong passion for islands and exploring the edges and unknown areas of the New York City. Riley says of his work:
My work addresses the prospect of residual but forgotten unclaimed frontiers on the edge and inside overdeveloped urban areas, and their unsuspected autonomy.
Other shared passions include Bequia, a lesser known island in the West Indies neighboring St. Vincent. In the many years and visits I made to the Caribbean islands, Bequia was always on my to go list, but I never made it there. Riley once visited the island, where he became inspired to make boats. He also has an interest in Plum Beach and Dead Horse Bay.
I discovered Riley's work in the photo on a recent ride in the E train. The poster was quite long - hence the two photos. The work was commissioned by the MTA Arts For Transit in 2010. It is available as an art card from the MTA website - see here.
A Brooklyn resident, Riley has a BFA in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design and a MFA in Sculpture from the Pratt Institute. His work is noted for its nautical themes. Riley has also built many seacraft. In 2007, with two companions, he built and launched a small wooden submarine, the Turtle, a replica of a Revolutionary War era craft. They were arrested by the New York City police when they came within 200 feet (without authorization) of the Queen Mary 2, docked at the Red Hook Brooklyn cruise ship terminal. Riley has circumnavigated the city's waters in a homemade rowboat and built ships for staging a sea battle.
Although I do not share his love of all things nautical, I still hope to run into him combing Dead Horse Bay or in the subway, somewhere On Parallel Tracks :)