January 2, 2017

POSTED BY

Rafael Esquer

CATEGORY

Largest Permanent Public Art Installation in NY History

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https://youtu.be/DdimWnTlCLY A new year, a new subway line in New York. Yes, the long-awaited Second Avenue Subway finally opened on January 1st, 2017 with four stations: 63rd Street, 72nd Street, 86th Street and 96th Street. A reason to celebrate for those commuters who have been anxiously waiting for years, but …

A new year, a new subway line in New York. Yes, the long-awaited Second Avenue Subway finally opened on January 1st, 2017 with four stations: 63rd Street, 72nd Street, 86th Street and 96th Street. A reason to celebrate for those commuters who have been anxiously waiting for years, but also for art lovers.

Four prominent artists are featured in the new stations, in fact, the new line has been heralded as the “largest permanent public art installation in New York history” by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Who are the four artists? Jean Shin presents “Elevated” at 63rd Street, Brazilian-born, Brooklyn-based artist Vik Muniz shows “Perfect Strangers” at the 72nd station, Chuck Close‘s “Subway Portraits” can be seen at the 86th street stop, and Sarah Sze’s “Blueprint for a Landscape” unfolds across the walls of the 96th Street station. These four artists were selected by the MTA from a pool of over 300 well-known artists.

Chuck Close depicts at more than eight feet high some of the artist’s most recognized friends including musicians Lou Reed and Philip Glass and artists Cindy Sherman, Kara Walker, Zhang Hua, and Close himself. Vic Muniz approach was to honor the everyday commuter by depicting real New Yorkers. The highly detailed mosaics are based on staged portraits of the artist’s friends who agreed to play dress up and pose. Some of Muniz characters include a child grasping for a balloon, a popsicle-wielding cop, and a hand-holding gay couple.

From now on, for the price of a subway token, the estimated 200,000 daily commuters will have the chance to not only ride the subway but also experience world-class art. It’s a nice way to make it up for all of us waiting for a project which sat for 90 years on the drawing board.

63rd STREET, “ELEVATED” by JEAN SHIN

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72nd STREET, “PERFECT STRANGERS” by VIK MUNIZ

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86th STREET, “SUBWAY PORTRAITS” by CHUCK CLOSE

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96TH STREET, “BLUEPRINT FOR A LANDSCAPE” by SARAH SZE

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All images ©2017 MTA

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