New York’s Second Avenue Subway opened on January 1 after almost a century of planning, with new art installations by Chuck Close, Sarah Sze, Vik Muniz, and Jean Shin.
Travelers through the Prince Street subway station in Manhattan yesterday may have looked twice at its signage that was temporarily transformed into a memorial for the late Prince.
It only took a day after Sunday’s opening for a candy bar wrapper to lodge beneath the new wooden bench of the 34th Street-Hudson Yards platform, and vague stains to appear on the station’s light granite floor tiles.
There are over 250 art projects lodged in the transit infrastructure of New York City. Some are garish or grand mosaics that cover whole subway tunnels, others you might walk by for years without recognition. A new book compiles them in a guide to city’s subterranean galleries.
Three stations on the M subway line in Ridgewood, Queens now have permanent art installations that bring moments of home into the commute.
I’ve always enjoyed riding the subway impossible distances — out to Coney Island, say, or the Far Rockaways — largely because the cityscape and the scenery change so much along the way. Traveling out to the ends of various lines transports you away from the New York City you know.
Playing to the idea of subway as symphony, Brooklyn-based Alexander Chen has tapped the MTA’s train schedule and mapped it over time with Massimo Vignelli’s classic (and beloved) subway map … and added music.
In the world of graffiti, Martha Cooper is a cult figure. She’s an old skool photog who, along with Henry Chalfant, documented the fast-changing world of New York graffiti and unintentionally helped make it sexy and digestible for public consumption. Her book Subway Art, co-authored with Chalfant, kickstarted the graff book genre that has ballooned (for better or worse) into a full-blown field that witnesses hundreds of books published a year.
Since the influence and impact of Subway Art is well-know, I chose to focus this review on two more recent works by the graff photography veteran which were published in that last few years, Tag Town: The Evolution of New York Graffiti Writing and Going Postal.