Thor Stockman and his husband Patrick Kellogg are part of artist Vik Muniz’s Perfect Strangers series.
As the 72nd Street station on the Second Avenue subway line opens on January 1, people waiting for the train will be greeted with life-size images. Among those depicted are Thor Stockman and Patrick Kellogg, a married couple who are shown holding hands.
Muniz said it made sense to include the two men in a project intended to show the different people that commuters are likely to encounter on their daily journey.
“They are just people you would expect to see,” said Muniz, who splits his time between New York and Brazil.
“You would expect to see men holding hands.”
For Kellog and Stockman, their inclusion in Muniz’ series has an added layer of significance.
“Our friends were happy that this is gay representation on the walls of New York City, but our friends were even happier that this is gay representation that is not incredibly beautiful and skinny,” Kellogg told the AP.
“They were just average-looking guys like us,” Stockman added.
In his statement announcing the public art installations at the various stops along the new Second Avenue line, New York state governor Andrew Cuomo seemed to share in that sentiment.
“Public works projects are not just about function–they’re an expression of who we are and what we believe. Any child who has never walked into a museum or an art gallery can walk the streets of New York and be exposed to art and education simply by being a New Yorker. That is where we came from and that is what makes New York special,” Cuomo said.