21st Century Lonely Hearts

heart_125Like a single blade of grass trying to grow up through the cracks in a sidewalk, love has a helluva time thriving in the 21st century. Television and the Internet have made us all so darned self-aware and ironic, any hint of romance is treated to a mental Inquisition on sight. Take the 300 posters that popped up in New York City subway stations topped by the hash tag “#MissingLove”.

Crafted by Chilean-born artist Maria Luisa Portuondo Vila, the prints begin “Pay attention NY! This is about my heart” in three languages, and seek to connect with a gentleman Portuondo encountered on the subway in November.


It’s a wonderful little updating of the classic “lonely hearts” newspaper ads of a bygone era. (Sure, they’re probably still around, but who reads them today?)

There is also, unfortunately, that feeling of having wandered into someone else’s performance-art piece. It’s a situation tailor-made for sharing in an Instagram-obsessed society – just how much heart is there in this? (The “making of” video below makes us even more wary.)

Whatever it is, it makes for a welcome break from the usual Valentine’s Day buy-her-a-diamond claptrap we’ve all grown up with, and bonus points for the subway iconography used in the poster 🙂


  1. Tobias Groteloh 8 years ago

    I really like the first sentence, the one the text begins with: “Like a single blade of grass…” I think this sentence perfectly captures what’s actually going on inside a person who suffers from loneliness and is longing for love. This sentence is just too beautiful!!!

    • Aaron Berman 8 years ago

      Thank you, Tobias – you’re very kind to say that 🙂

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