Is Bruce McCall’s Latest New Yorker Cover Too Similar to Jeff Greenspan’s ‘The Tourist Lane’?

Has veteran artist Bruce McCall swiped, unintentionally or otherwise, the idea for his latest New Yorker cover? The October 3rd issue of the magazine features McCall’s illustration of Times Square, with a portion of the sidewalk cordoned off for tourists and another two sections dedicated as a “No Tourist” zone. Per usual for the magazine, it’s a clever, fun image. However, it’s also remarkably close to artist Jeff Greenspan‘s 2010 collaboration with Improv Everywhere. Entitled “The Tourist Lane,” Greenspan spray painted sections of New York sidewalks, labeling one side “Tourists” and the other, “New Yorkers.” On one hand, McCall certainly could have come up with the idea himself, explaining on the New Yorker‘s site how he came up with the concept after getting out of a cab in Times Square and being overwhelmed by the out-of-towners. On the other hand, Greenspan’s stunt garnered international press, with copycats painting variations in cities across the world, and the Improv Everywhere video receiving more than a million hits. So we suppose it isn’t inconceivable that McCall could have been aware of it and had it land somewhere in his subconscious. We’ll leave it up to you to decide. Whatever the case: interesting.