What Happens When Emojis Take Over New York City

Raise your hand if you're obsessed with emojis. Even if you don't use these fun little characters on a daily basis, you're bound to be surrounded by them — they've sparked conversation, initiated debate, and touched upon social issues, all without using any words. They've also inspired our creative sides, from Halloween costumes (how many dancing girls did you come across last year?) to immersive art experiences to seriously creative photo series, like Brooklyn-based art director Brad Warsh's project, "Emoji IRL."
"I did this project to show how seamless emojis have become in our world; how we use them every day without even really noticing anymore," Warsh tells Refinery29 of his work, which is created solely on his iPhone. "I came across it by accident, when I was messing around with a photo-sharing app over a year ago. I put an oversized sad-face emoji over my friend's face, and it kind of took off from there."
Now, the series has not only gone viral (partly thanks to its Instagram hashtag, #emoji_irl), but has left us totally mesmerized — to see our favorite emojis pop up in the places we frequent every day (like the subway or local coffee shop) further brings our devotion to technology into our reality. Want to see what the city would look like if it were invaded by emojis? Ahead, Warsh shares his New York-centric snaps.