September 2001

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Rolling with it

One of the London cabs that are among the city's more traditional attractions has acquired an edgier image by becoming an art gallery on the move. Dreamt up by taxi driver Jason Brown and art dealer Paul E. Stolper, Cab Gallery has been roaming the streets since 1999, introducing hapless passengers to artworks squeezed into the taxi's interior; riders will find them on the backseat, under the flip-up seats, and decorating doors and windows. Passengers have even shared space with Peter Liversidge's photograph of a stuffed robin (unnervingly depicted on the same seat) and been able to flip through postcards sent by Christo.

The Cab Gallery
Taxi driver Jason Brown "races around London" in the Cab Gallery

Brown says he hit on the idea of the gallery while studying for the "Knowledge" - the arduous examination of London streets that cabdrivers must pass. Also an enthusiastic contemporary-art collector, Brown saw a chance to kill two birds with one stone, so to speak. The gallery will have a retrospective in and on the cab next month, after which Brown is putting his curating in a cab on hold. Brown likes picking up fares from outside Tate Modern or the (conventional) gallery openings of artists inside the "taxy." As Stolper puts it: "It is a bundle of metal that races round London carrying art on its back."