Everyone knows that “Mad Men” isn’t just a television show. It’s an unstoppable cultural force. In four short-skirt-chasing seasons, AMC’s gin-soaked Eisenhower-era costume drama has been credited with sparking a conflagration of retro fads: the Gentleman’s Haircut, oysters, pencil skirts, gimlets, masculinity on men, breasts on women, the name Betty on women under eighty, and now… street art? The ubiquitous posters promoting Mad Men’s March 25 return splashed across the New York subway system have launched a swath of guerrilla remixes and new street art meme.
Borrowing a familiar image from the series’ opening credits, the subway ads feature a tiny silhouette of everyone’s favorite strong-jawed soap opera lothario, Don Draper, falling through the air. The rest of the poster is blank, providing artists and straphangers a blank slate to add on their own designs. Some of the remixes are funny, others just sort of confusing: Don Draper falling into the mouth of a hungry shark. Don Draper bouncing on a trampoline while mini-Don Draper plays on a swing. Don Draper floating in space next to large and seemingly unrelated pair of butt cheeks.
Maybe the real-life ad men (and ad women) behind this campaign were under the influence of slick midcentury proto-minimalists like Ad Rinehart and Barnett Newman. Or perhaps they were reeling from the effects of too many smart cocktails. [Gothamist]
— Chloe Wyma