Mosaics: Bringing Art out of the gallery and into the Subway
By Melissa Bardsley
Our daily commute here in Maine is filled with scenic views of trees, bodies of water, and the occasional wildlife. We take these picturesque commutes for granted and forget that for a large part of the country their commute includes riding in public transportation which includes underground subways with no view. Some artists in New York City are looking to change that with their mosaic installations that are transforming utilitarian based spaces into a public works of art. Here are four examples of mosaic works in New York subway stations that might be able to persuade one to give up their picturesque commute for public transportation.
Delancey St – Essex St – Mosaic Created by Ming Fey
Fey Created watercolor sketches that were inspired by the marketplace that resides overhead that has been brought to life in this extensive glass tile mosaic.
Yankees – E. 153rd St – Mosaic Created by Ellen Harvey
Harvey created an 11 panel mosaic inspired by photos and watercolor paintings of the south facing Bronx sky. The glass tiles replicate the transitional and iridescent quality of the sky as it progresses from a cloud filled day to star lit night.
34th St- Hudson Yards – Mosaic Created by Xenobia Bailey
Bailey is traditionally a fiber artist focusing in mediums of crochet and textiles. Her designs are rich with colors and mandala like repetition.
Second Ave – Mosaics by Jean Shin, Vik Muniz, Chuck Close, and Sarah Sze
Shin was inspired by archival photos of the Second and Third Ave elevated trains and replicated photos from when they were in operation.
Muniz has created over three dozen brightly colored portraits of New Yorkers in a collection titled ‘Perfect Strangers’.
Close created ten portraits of well-known subjects for the project part of a series titles ‘Subway Portraits’
Sze’s mosaic spans a whopping 14,000 sq feet depicting sheets of paper, scaffolding, birds, trees, and foliage with interactions referencing energy fields and wind patterns.