SVA Subway Series: Richard Borge Has a Blast
December 13, 2019 by Danielle Peters
An image of Richard Borge's Winter 2019 "Art Is!" subway poster.


BFA Animation faculty member Richard Borge knows that one of the keys to maintaining creativity is to never lose your sense of child-like wonder, imagination and playfulness. Known for his 3D artwork featuring whimsical, toy-like objects, Borge regularly speaks about “following your heart and dreams” as a designer and is recognized as a visual problem-solver by those who commission his work. Recently tasked with creating SVA’s Winter 2019 “Art Is!” subway poster, currently up in stations around NYC, Borge expresses his idea of what art really is. “The idea was about exploration,” he explained. “It’s about taking off and going somewhere. And then I am also thinking, I like to make these little toys ... maybe I can make a toy that’s all about discovery.”


Borge made the centerpiece of his poster a 3D modeled rocket ship toy. “The reason that I went with one of my toys is—this is what I love to do; this is my style. I like the aesthetic of having flat graphic images printed onto a 3D surface.” Early in his career, Borge made 3D sculptures, but later on, he evolved into employing 3D programs on his computer, which he said was a nice change “from having to build [it].”


“It’s ultimately [intended] to look fun,” Borge said of his design. “Then, when you dig in and read, some of the finer points to it should ultimately make sense.” Borge created the poster to be a symbiosis between powerful words and strong imagery so that the longer you observe it, the more hidden pieces you find. The text elements were inspired in part by quotes by SVA students published in the 2020-2021 edition of the SVA Viewbook. An animated version of the poster also appears in LinkNYC kiosks at street level around the city.


In addition to his role as an SVA faculty member for more than two years, Borge is also a freelance illustrator and motion designer with clients such as TimeWall Street JournalThe New York TimesNewsweekForbesSony and many more. 


Considering the many artists that preceded him in making the “Art Is!” poster, Borge declared his excitement to create something similarly long-lasting—and ultimately, historic—given that his poster is the very first double-wide Subway Series poster with a horizontal orientation. “I wanted to make just kind of a boom, big singular image. Something that you could look at from across the platform and appreciate it, but then also when you’re standing on the platform right next to it, you can find all these little jewels.”


Check out our new video feature with Richard Borge discussing his “Art Is!” poster.