Ezequiel And Kyle, founders of On This Corner
Every corner of New York City holds a story. The Old Man & The Gay, also known as Kyle and Ezequiel, are the creatives behind On This Corner. What started as just an idea of sharing moments around NYC and cnnekting people, became a social media and IRL sensation. Read about why these two give a damn about living and sharing stories in the City.
What are three adjectives that would you describe you individually? And would you say they intertwine with the work you are currently doing?
The two of us are actually quite different. We go by the team name, The Old Man & The Gay. Kyle (the old man) likes jazz, Irish whiskey, and football. Ezequiel (the gay) likes Beyonce, watermelon frose, and football players. But we do have a few adjectives in common. We’re both passionate, creative, and caring. Our work definitely intertwines with these adjectives.
We’re both extraordinarily passionate about New York. Though neither of us are originally from here (Kyle is from Philadelphia, Ezequiel from Argentina), we love our town. To have our project become a small part of the city and to be able to tell its many stories is an honor for us.
Creativity is what brought us to work together. We both work in advertising as creatives, but love doing projects outside of work. (We’re also behind NYC’s Pride Train.) We strongly believe in creating art to inspire, excite, and make a difference in the lives of our audience.
When we say “caring,” it means that we give a shit. About the work we do, about the place we live, and about the people who see our art. We didn’t create On This Corner just for fun - we did it to tell a story, to uncover our past, and to connect all New Yorkers.
On This Corner, why and how did you start?
On This Corner started one day when the two of us walked past the corner of Bleecker & Lafayette streets in Manhattan. We both realized that we associate that corner with a certain memory. After realizing this, we thought, “Every New Yorker has corners like this. Why can’t we tell all their stories?” We soon collected as many stories as we could and put them up on bright yellow stickers all around NYC. We started On This Corner because we love New York and we love telling stories. Public art connects people and we’d love to play a small role in connecting New Yorkers.
Can you walk us through which stories are selected and shared publicly? And any preference to what type of stories you two like to share?
We try to share every story that’s submitted to us. We’re a small team, so it’s hard to get to all of them right away, but we’re not selective in the stories we share. We don’t care what type of stories we receive, but we prefer the really honest stories. Whether they’re happy or sad, emotional or funny, as long as it tells an honest story, we love it.
Aside from making these cute stories into stickers slapped onto the corners of New York City, is there a deeper purpose for On This Corner?
The deeper purpose is just to connect people.
It’s easy to feel alone in New York, but when you see that someone else has a story from the corner you’re standing on, maybe you won’t feel so alone. Or maybe it’ll simply put a smile on your face. Whatever the effect is, we love this city and we’re proud to share a tiny amount of its many unknown stories.
We are seeing a growth for OTC, what else can we expect from the platform and you both?
For now, we just want to keep telling stories. We’d love to see the project expand and be able to cover much more of the city. From us, we’re confident you’ll see more projects and public art from us in the future. But for now, we’ll keep working to grow the project and uncover as many corner stories as we can.
Interviewed by Chary