Artist looks for missed connection, posts fliers in subway stations

Artist Maria Luisa Portuondo Vila believes her love is somewhere in the city, and she wants New Yorkers’ help finding him.

Now, Vila, 30, is trying to find him by plastering fliers in subway stations all around the city looking for her missed connection. “Pay attention NY! This is about my heart,” Vila wrote on the posters. Vila is an intern at the Textile Arts Center in the West Village and arrived from Santiago, Chile in November. She only has until March to find him – after that, she will return to Chile.

Vila said she spotted her mystery man on the A train in November and said the two of them glanced at each other a few times. “He was so handsome,” she said.”He caught my attention because we exchanges glances and in New York, that’s so difficult. In Chile everyone looks at you, but here, no. Nobody looks at you. So we looked at each other and I felt good.”

She wanted to give him something, so she found a picture she drew of a tree in her bag. She scrawled her e-mail on it and was about to give it to him, but in a sad twist of fate, a crowd of people flooded the subway car as Vila got off at 14th Street and the man stayed on the train. “I lost him and it was so bad and I was so frustrated,” she told us. “I thought, now is my time in New York – now or never. I’m going to start this art project and capture this feeling and look for him and find him.”

Vila said she thought about how she could reach out to him and decided to turn her quest into an art project called “Missing Love.”

Vila described her prince charming as 6-foot-1 with a long face and hired a forensic artist in Chile to draw a composite sketch of him; she wanted to describe him in Spanish. He has long wavy hair in the drawing and wears a top hat. “That picture is 80 percent him,” she said. “Yes, so handsome.” Vila wrote that on the day she saw him, he wore yellow pants, a denim jacket and carried a newspaper.

Vila created the hashtag #missinglove and begged Twitter users to help her find her man and send photos of people who fit his description. She said if and when she meets him, she simply wants to give him the picture and tell him about the project. She laughed off the idea of starting a relationship with him. “No, I am going back to Santiago in March,” she said. “I don’t want to give him any more trouble, you know. I think in some ways he’s my victim because I’m doing all of this and he doesn’t know me. Now I’m thinking, maybe I love him, but he might not remember me and maybe he didn’t even see me. It’s a little joke; it’s a little dramatic.”

Follow Andrea Park on Twitter: @andreapark


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