Street Price of Human Soul on Rivington

Posted on: April 6th, 2011 at 6:28 am by

Blues gospel dictates that Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil at the crossroads in exchange for supreme guitar prowess.  Internet savvy and wit shows that users are willing to auction their souls on eBay for an exorbitant sum.  These days, however, artist Gordon Holden maintains that the true price of the human soul is one paltry dollar.

This image has been archived or removed.

The other day we came across a number of nearly-invisible price tags hanging from various objects on the street.  Like this one dangling from an errant wire at the vacant lot of former Roumanian Synagogue on Rivington.  We almost passed by without noticing, but did a quick double-take.   It read simply, “Your soul – $1,” with contact info on the flip-side.

This image has been archived or removed.

So we decided to reach out to Holden to learn more about this guerrilla street art.  This was his response:

so i guess the idea behind the price tag is loosely based on the mixed ideas of objectivism, capitalism, consumerism. too many ism’s. i wanted to subtly put it more in the consciousness of the public with out going out and spray painting something or stickering myself. americans especially, want to put a price on everything. but thats what shit has come to in this future. sell sell sell! buy buy buy!

so lets go ahead and put a price on your soul and see how you respond. and i have had tons of responses to the tags and a majority of it is hate emails pretty much saying “fuck you” do something more productive or positive. although the people that get it, like it. to me, this is productive. its evoking an emotion one way or another. lets face it, no one knows if u have emotions when ur dead. and really, who is to say what your soul is worth? its worth more than that bankers mansion, more than that housewives escalada and her louis vuitton bag. its a tragedy, and americans take life for granted. lets live our life to retire. then again i actually don’t take anything seriously. but you wouldnt know after this retarded somewhat contrived answer. even if no one wants to pay attention. i’d probably still do it.

However, this wasn’t the first time that such pricing hit the Lower East Side.  Street furniture was comically assessed back in the spring of 2009.

Recent Stories

Fridays Under $40: Trying To Be Healthy

In our new Friday column, “Fridays Under $40,” Boogie contributor Sara Graham hits the streets to find cheap eats and affordable things to do during these weird times. There are many hobbyists that have sprung from the self-isolation of spring 2020—sourdough bread bakers, TikTok choreographers, “plant moms”—but I’m most envious of runners. I’m lucky if […]

Sister of Murdered and Dismembered Tech Entrepreneur Speaks Out

Exactly one month after 33-year-old tech entrepreneur, Fahim Saleh, was brutally murdered and dismembered in his Lower East Side apartment, his sister is speaking out with a memoir on Medium. In the blog post published yesterday, Ruby Saleh recounts her relationship with Fahim and her sorrow over his death. She said that her brother was […]

Thirty Years on, Mercer Street Books is Crowdfunding to Keep Afloat

The last of the old guard is facing an uncertain future. Beloved used book store in Greenwich Village, Mercer Street Books, could be the latest victim of the economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic. The neighborhood fixture is in its 30th year of selling used and out-of-print books, as well as records, and currently staring […]

Ode to the Doomed Trees of East River Park [OP-ED]

The following editorial was written by Lower East Sider, Barbara Katz Rothman. There’s something truly sad about the sight of a dead tree. Look at that photo of the tree killed by the storm last week. We think of trees and use them as metaphors, so often, even by “urban types” like me who actually prefer city skylines […]

Essex Crossing Starts Leasing at The Artisan with Rentals Topping $3,000

Essex Crossing this month announced the start of leasing at its latest luxury tower – The Artisan. Located at 180 Broome Street, this beast is the largest building at the nine-site project. Its floors contain office and retail space, as well as access to the Market Line, which is gradually reopening from the pandemic shutdown. […]