Perfect Strangers // 72nd Street // Vik Muniz // Photographs by Erin Fong
The MTA Arts & Design Department for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority commissioned four artists this year to create works of art for four metro stops in NYC. The four stations are 96th Street, 86th Street, 72nd Street and 63rd Street. Each artist used the white walls of the metro stop as a blank canvas for their art. 96 Street is designed by Sarah Sze, 86th Street by Chuck Close, 72nd Street Vik Muniz and 63rd Street by Jean Shin. These photographs are from Vik Muniz’s 72nd Street creation. Titled “Perfect Strangers,” Muniz produced 36 life size portraits of “strangers.” They resemble everyday people waiting to take the metro. The portraits include police officers, construction workers, parents and children and people dressed for work. Muniz even included himself, tripping, papers flying up in the air. So if you ever find yourself taking the metro in NYC be sure to look for these “Perfect Strangers.”
Water Tower // Rachel Whiteread // 1998 // translucent resin & painted steel
When walking around NYC it is easy to spot numerous water towers resting on the atop buildings. It comes as no surprise then for artists to gain inspiration from these iconic New York City objects. British artist Rachel Whiteread did just that in her first public work in the US. Known for her casts in resin and plaster of everyday objects, Whiteread chose to create a resin constructed water tower for MoMA. Located on the roof, Whiteread’s work is only visible to people who look up whilst sitting in MoMA’s garden. By using resin, a clear substance, the “Water Tower’s” appearance changes to reflect the sky and the buildings that surround it.
Nick Walker // // 88-160 W 17th Street // Photograph by Erin Fong
British artist Nick Walker has struck again! This time on 88-160 W 17th Street in NYC. Known for his street graffiti works that combine free hand spray paint and stencils, Walker also showcases his works in galleries. Despite being based in Bristol, Walker has street art in Paris, Los Angeles, Norway and of course New York City.
The Swings // Brookfield Place, Waterfront Plaza // Photographs by Erin Fong
Swing into summer at the Brookfield Place, Waterfront Plaza in NYC. Located on the plaza is a colossal swing set. People are invited to take a break from their bustling lives to sit and swing. However, these are no ordinary swings. These swings make music. One swing sounds like a piano, one a harp, one guitar and one a vibraphone. Together all participants compose a work of musical art simply by enjoying a ride on a swing.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s most recent exhibition, China Through the Looking Glass, juxtaposed contemporary fashion designers’s elaborate costumes with artifacts from China’s past. Some of the most recognizable designers included Coco Chanel, Christian Dior and Alexander McQueen. Perhaps the most memorable dress in the exhibition was the elaborate gold ballgown by Chinese designer Guo Pei. Inspired by Buddhism, the base of the dress was created to resemble the lotus flower, a symbol for purity as it grows out of murky water. Here, Pei showcases traditional Chinese culture in a modern, Western style ballgown. With the merger of the East and the West, this show explores the connections between these two cultures and the influences China has on Western designers. This blockbuster show received such high praise from viewers that it was extended by two weeks and became one of the most visited exhibitions in Met history.