The sight of two men holding hands appeared on the wall in one of the NYC subway station. The public art is rather common in subways of big cities, but same-sex love is represented rarely on such arts. “It was like winning the lottery,” Thor Stockman, 60, said of finding out that he and his husband of 3 ½ years, Patrick Kellogg, were going to be part of artist Vik Muniz’s “Perfect Strangers,” a series of life-size mosaic portraits of everyday New Yorkers gracing the walls of the new subway station at 72nd Street. But “part of me wishes that it wasn’t a rarity, that it wasn’t remarkable.”
Muniz said it made sense to include the two men in a project intended to show the different people that riders are likely to encounter on their daily commutes. “They are just people you would expect to see,” Muniz, who divides his time between New York and Brazil, said in phone interview from Rio de Janeiro. “You would expect to see men holding hands.” A work like Muniz’s is long overdue in a city “ostensibly the epicenter of both the art world and the gay movement,” said Katz, director of the doctoral program in visual culture studies at SUNY Buffalo and the former executive coordinator of the Larry Kramer Initiative for Lesbian and Gay Studies at Yale University.