Photo courtesy of Posterchild.
Posterchild (Torontoist contributor and Torontoist fave) has spent the last two and a half months in New York City, most of it with his girlfriend of two years, Sonja. One of his projects while there has been putting up what he calls “New York Sunsets“: large black-and-white drawings of the New York skyline attached overtop of subway station video ad screens, diffusing the ads into a glowing, colourful, always-changing sky.
On October 29, though, Posterchild did something different when Sonja accompanied him, as she often does, to put up another piece on the blinking entrance of another subway station—he asked her to marry him.
As she told Torontoist on the phone this morning:
“I had absolutely completely no idea that he had been planning this. I was working downtown at Union Square in New York, every day, so he made up this story about being interviewed by someone who had previously interviewed him near my work, so he was like, ‘Oh, I’ll just meet you after,’ and I was not suspecting anything. And this is so old hat for us: we go out almost every night, and he puts things up, and I document, or I help him carry things. And he was like, ‘Oh, we’ll walk around and get a drink, and while we’re out I’ll throw something up that I have to put up.'”
Posterchild wanted to install what he had with him at the station at Union Square but, she says she warned him, “You always do it here: they’re going to be looking out for you now, cause you’ve been putting up a bunch of them in that one spot.” So they moved down the street to 23rd Street Station. “He’s seeming nervous,” she says, “but I thought maybe it was just because he thought he was going to get caught doing it or something…I was like, that’s weird, but okay. I just stood there with a video camera, filming.”
Posterchild and fellow artist Jason Eppink (who often collaborate) had recently had a conversation about doing, as Sonja puts it, pieces “with sayings that would make people feel uncomfortable” on them. So when Posterchild attached his work to the video screen and pulled the cloth covering down from it, revealing the words “will you marry me?”, “immediately,” Sonja says, “I think back to that conversation where he’s just doing another street art piece, and it’s meant to make people feel uncomfortable, so I stood there and I stared at it, because… I just didn’t even know! I was completely—I just stood there taking pictures of it, not really thinking about it; he’s just standing there staring at me, and I’m like, ‘What?’ And he was like, ‘Seriously, will you marry me?’ And I was like, ‘Oh my god you’re serious!’…Literally, he had to get down on one knee in front of me before I actually got what was happening.”
So she said yes.