Matthew Chavez is the artist behind the “subway therapy” art installation. In 2016, after the Presidential Election, he provided Post-it notes to New Yorkers so they could vent and express their feelings, with hundreds of messages coming to cover the walls of the 14th Street tunnel between 6th and 7th Avenues.
However, on Thursday, the NYPD gave Chavez a $25 fine, saying that the Post-its were unauthorized postings, which are a violation of the transit rules of conduct. Chavez says he’s aware of the rule, but claims that in the last two years, he’s never been told to leave, much less been ticketed for his artwork.
The MTA told FOX 5 NY that Chavez was fined because station staff became aware that among the post-it notes there were some that contained “lewd, offensive and profane language,” going on to say “we appreciate New Yorker’s desire to express themselves, but it must follow the rules.”
Chavez told FOX 5 NY that he isn’t upset that he was fined but that he will continue to display his artwork and allow New Yorkers to express themselves, and that he wants to reach out to the MTA and the NYPD to see if they can work something out.