By Chelci Bidos, Class of 2012
We have all heard of Van Gogh, Picasso and Monet. But what about John Fekner, Vito Acconi and Dan Sinclair? If you haven’t heard about them, you should probably brush up on your art history, because the new face of art in the subway is not by the famous three I mentioned, but by ordinary commuters with extraordinary talent.
“It’s a change of scenery to say the least. I enjoy walking through the different stations and seeing art and sculptures that commuters have made themselves. It has a totally different perspective. Most artists can take the time and really look at things, but subway artists usually don’t have as much time, everything is so fast-paced and rush. It’s really cool to see what they come up with, you’re always amazed,’ said Stephen Bo, a graphic arts student from Brooklyn.
If art is something that you are familiar with or just want to learn more, you can download the free Arts for Transit app on your iPhone or android. All you have to do is type in Meridian in your app store search bar and you will open yourself up to an endless supply of podcasts and video clips, which not only describe the art and the artists, but also give you step-by-step directions to different artwork located in a handful of stations.
Sarah Ryan recently downloaded the Meridian app and was surprised by how extensive art in the subway system is.
“I was actually introduced to this app through a friend. She was searching for free MTA apps on her iPhone and came across it. I never knew that there was so much artwork in the subway,” Ryan said. “It definitely goes unnoticed and it is good to see that people are really starting to take the time to “smell the flowers” for lack of a better term. I am used to seeing the same art over and over again and it’s good to know that if I ever feel daring and have the time to I can ride the trains and enjoy the sights.”
Back in March, Sandra Bloodworth, Director of Arts for Transit, told the Wall Street Journal, “the goal of this (app) is that the public owns it, this is their collection and they can take it with them when they go.”
Lissette Rodriquez, a commuter from the Bronx enjoys looking at the new artist’s creations in the Subway. “It’s definitely a relief from the art that we are used to seeing. It’s more relaxed and more relatable, and has a city vibe to it, it’s pretty cool in my opinion.”
India Consuelo, has a more critical art assessment. “I look at it like eye candy, there is so much going on in these sculptures, the colors, textures, materials used, all of the shapes and sizes that they use, these talented artists never fail to amaze me,” she said.
Whether you are just a commuter who accidentally bumps into a piece of artwork or one who travels to a station just to see your favorite sculpture, keep a look out for the new face of subway art coming to a station near you.