As you travel along the new Second Avenue Subway line in NYC you will find a first-rate art museum, comprised of mosaic works created in the tile, along the three new stations walls. Each station 96th, 86th and 72nd Streets feature large public artworks by four renowned contemporary artists, commissioned by MTA Arts & Design. They are collectively the largest permanent public art installation in New York City history. The best part is the admission to this “underground museum”, is equal to the cost of one subway ride fare.
Subway Bill Colins, b.1941
As you fly swiftly underground
with a song in your ears
Or lost in the maze of a book
Remember the ones who descended here
into the mire of bedrock
To bore a hole through this granite,
To clear a passage for you
Where there was only darkness and stone.
Remember as you come up into the light.
The first station My Strange Family explored was the Second Avenue 72nd Street Station. The artwork that can be seen here is Perfect Strangers (2016) © Vik Muniz. NYCT Second Avenue – 72nd Street Station. Glass mosaic and laminated glass. Fabricated by Franz Mayer of Munich. Vik Muniz is a well known Brazilian artist and photographer.
Perfect Strangers is a series of three dozen life-size portraits of people that seem to be waiting for a train along the platform and entrances to the 72nd Street Station. Vik Muniz took staged photographs of normal people that he knew, and a few notable NYC locals, to help him develop this Perfect Strangers series.
My son trying to spin the world globe, being held by one of Vik Muniz, Perfect Strangers.
Super Boy and lilStrange posing with a red balloon mosaic made from glass.
Raising two kids in New York City I end up taking them on the subway multiple times each week, and many stations don’t have elevators. So, this is what I look like walking up and down the stairs with a lightweight stroller, hoping to not miss the next train. I will be happy when the stroller stage is over.
Mr. Muniz said, “In the subway you really don’t end up remembering anything but the people,” besides the people, I also remember the smell.