Much can be said about the speculation and mystery shrouding The “New” Whitney Museum, whose move has dominated the talk of the town and whose opening had people teeming with anticipation for months. The unveiling of The Whitney represents a shift of unparalleled re-invention and curation for the museum-going crowd. For those who covet the experience of going to a museum and expect nothing less than the highest level of perfectly executed stimulation, The Whitney has promised to deliver. Its identity has been constructed to declare itself as the premier place to experience contemporary American art.
Now enter the humble subway ad, which often touts ignored dairy products, B movies and the like. The Whitney campaign, however, which lines the walls of New York City’s underground, gently reminds riders that American art has found a permanent and eternal home.
Photographer Peter Funch, whose extensive body of work spans from fine art to editorial to advertising, was commissioned by Grey New York to shoot some of The Whitney’s iconic works in surprising atmospheres. Over the course of two days, Peter and the art directors at Grey strategically placed famous paintings and photographs around New York’s Meatpacking District, and photographed them as if they were meant to blend in. The melt into their respective environments seamlessly, but not so that they don’t require a second glance, acting as subtle works of art themselves. Against backdrops of establishments like The High Line, the 8th Avenue subway station, and the cobblestone streets of what was once considered “no man’s land”, Peter Funch’s touch beckons in a fresh breeze against iconic pieces. As The Whitney reclaims its title as a New York City institution, Peter’s campaign will no doubt be along for the ride.