All the Wacky People

Inside Criterion / FYI — Dec 1, 2009

New York artist Jason Polan (known to Criterion fans as the guy behind the “wacky animals” in our monthly newsletters) has been on a mission that’s, to put it mildly, ambitious. The goal of his ongoing drawing project, Every Person in New York, is right there in the title. When we asked Polan about the origins of the endeavor, which began in March 2008 and which you can see unfold on his blog, he told us, “I am always trying to think of things I can do where there is an interaction with people.” After one and a half years, the speedy sketcher is now up to 8,300 people drawn (from the famed to the anonymous), which makes up one tenth of a percent of the 8,300,000-person population of New York. To commemorate this milestone, Polan will be packing in a lot of penciling for an all-day, crosstown One Tenth of a Percent Event this Wednesday, beginning at the Museum of Modern Art, where he will draw people from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and then moving on to the American Museum of Natural History (4:00–5:30), Times Square (6:00–7:30), and Grand Central Station (8:00–10:00). “I know my chances of finishing are fairly slim,” says Polan. “But I am willing to work on it forever.” So if you want to be drawn or just show your support for this cool endeavor, you know where to go.