Living in downtown NYC, and Long Island NYS

Monday, July 6, 2009


Traveling uptown to reach the now, not so free Museums, the MTA has, over the years, installed its own museum for the people, as it cleans up and paints Manna-hata's aging subway system. ENLARGE ALL FOR EXQUISITE DETAIL!

Whimsical mosaic images now adorn many subway walls, sometimes replacing the more sober designs of borders and signs of yesteryear. One of my favourites is Nancy Spero's ARTEMIS, ACROBATS, DIVAS AND DANCERS to be found at the 66th Street/Lincoln Center stop.

It all begins (who can say where it begins and ends) at the 42nd Street cross roads of tunnels, and fans out to the nether regions in various expressive formats that can now also include projected images, from ceiling to wall. Whatever is the latest PR gimmick it is down here somewhere.

Using ancient, modern and contemporary styles, someone decided to liven-up the subway experience in surprising ways that, for the most part is indistructible, unless the graffiti 'artist' brigade, who dominated the scene in the first place, decides that this 'epitome of classic NYC graffiti' is the pits. For spray-can recognition they really have to go to Paris to be respected nowadays!

Of course, this is all in addition to live performances by intrepid musicians, singers and dancers, who compete with noise of trains, and are rewarded by appreciative travelers who recognise a good act when they see it.

Your favourite artist is probably here, somewhere. To find out, go to a useful gallery listing, the SUBWAY ART GUIDE. And for more information about the MTA project, click here where you will find a CALL FOR ARTISTS among other things.

Artemis is a stunning figure in gold mosaic, greeting travelers exiting the platform at 66th Street for Lincoln Center. Take a look at how the mosaic is arranged to be so effective.

NANCY SPERO is known for her angry social and political barbs in her work, about War and Peace, about Women Artists in Revolution, an activist in both theme and innovative use of the artist's tools. I first saw her work at A.I.R, the all women's cooperative gallery in Soho which she helped to found in 1972. Go to Wikipedia for information, then explore other Spero activist takes on the re-imaging of women, to be found on the web via artnet. Her hand-printing and collage techniques are of great interest to the graphic eye.


  1. This post made my heart sing! I am such a fan of art being exhibited in environments that are accessible to all! Thank you for sharing this with us!

  2. Thanks for bringing attention to the MTA Arts for Transit program! For more information, including a complete listing of our permanent art projects and Music Under New York (MUNY) musicians, please visit our official website:

    (Please note that MTA Arts for Transit is not affiliated with "SUBWAY ART GUIDE" website, as stated above.)

  3. Noted. I mentioned the SUBWAY ART GUIDE because that was how I found out that Nancy Spero did this particular piece. And how other artists may be identified.

  4. It must make traversing the subway such a pleasure. And the figure in gold is truly stunning as you say. I love the first shot too. But what's to stop the artwork being defaced, I wonder.

  5. I too am a fan of any project which brings art to everyone. These are beautiful and the detail is striking.



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About Me

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JANUS - looking backwards and forwards is a Janus trait - for me a way to record the "in between thought", whether in retrospect, or as a notion for the future. I make original prints, currently etchings. I sometimes write and take photographs. I am inspired by what I see and read. Although postings are chronologically recorded by date and time in this protocol, the images exhibited, often seen in different stages of production, are from another time. So, with each new posting, earlier postings can undergo revision or amplification as will be noted, or requested. The addition of a SNAPSHOTS Blog and a VIRGINIA WOOLF Blog are included because my different interests tend to influence what I do as an artist. There will be a Family Blog, too, for the same reason.