MTA Sends Cease-and-Desist to Artist Who Paints MetroCards

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MetroCard art is nothing new: In the past few weeks alone, we’ve posted photos of Stephen Shaheen’s attractive Metrobench and entire group show comprised of mini-paintings on MetroCards. But, as EV Grieve reports, New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority isn’t so keen on the creative reappropriation of their product. In a cease-and-desist letter to East Village artist VH McKenzie, who sells paintings on MetroCards for $48 on Etsy, the MTA writes that, while they “are flattered that you recognize the value of our brand to consumers,” MetroCards are their freaking “intellectual property” and she’d better stop selling them, stat. Well, unless she wants to pay the MTA a licensing fee. Although McKenzie’s cards are still available on Etsy, she has removed “before” photos of unpainted MetroCards and added some legal language to her listings. So, is this the end of subway cards as art? [Runnin’ Scared, image via Etsy]