After what seemed like an eternity of nightmarish construction on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, the Second Avenue Subway has finally opened! There are four subway stations (the latter three being brand new stations): 63rd Street and Lexington Avenue, 72nd Street and Second Avenue, 86th Street and Second Avenue and 96th Street and Second Avenue.
I got on the Q train at 63rd Street – the train was packed. The faces unhappy. At first, the experience didn’t feel any different from any other subway experience.
But as I came up the stairs, I saw the new station. It’s pretty cool.
Each of the four new stations has it’s own artwork.
Whenever I visit modern art museums or a modern art wing at an art museum, I am taken aback by the works of Chuck Close. I am always struck by the huger-than-life face, made out of circles, or tiles or mosaics, that looks incredibly real. In fact, I always look at the face an extra moment or two because invariably it looks like someone famous. That’s because it usually is someone famous.
Yesterday, when I visited the 86th Street Station of the Second Avenue Subway, I was pleased to see the art of Chuck Close and his many big faces looking back at me.
Among others, the Chuck Close portraits exhibited at the 86th Street Subway Station are of iconic New Yorkers: musician Lou Reed, composer Philip Glass, artist Zhang Huan, photographer Cindy Sherman, artist Kara Walker, artist Cecily Brown, and artist Alex Katz, to name a few, as well as a self-portrait or two.
Stay tuned for reports on the art from the other Second Avenue Subway Stations.