Larger-than-life, vibrant, glass mosaic murals are set to grab the attention of even the most jaded New York City subway rider.
U.S. artist Nick Cave, best known for his Soundsuits of head-to-toe costumes made with a variety of fabrics, textures, colors and patterns, has used the same concept in an installation of the permanent, two-dimensional, mosaic display.
The sprawling mural called “Every One” was unveiled by New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) on Friday. First of a three-piece installation, the others titled “Each One” and “Equal All,” will be completed early next year.
“Every One” is a mosaic and video installation that runs along the corridor under 42nd Street connecting the Times Square and Bryant Park subway stations.
“I’m sure everyone was wondering how is this all going to translate from, you know, the sort of fiber materials into mosaic glass,” Cave told Reuters from his studio in Chicago.
Seeing the mosaic for the first time after it was installed, Cave said, “I was … blown away. It was epic.”
“As you’re walking and passing through, it is moving along with you,” Cave said. “My idea … was that it operated the same way in which the people were moving through the space.”
The new artwork covers 3,200 square feet and includes more than two dozen Soundsuits. When completed, the three installations will cover 4,600 square feet and will extend from the Times Square to Grand Central subway stations.
It will be Cave’s largest, permanent public art and the largest mosaic project in the NYC transit system, according to the MTA.
The art was unveiled as part of a public campaign to welcome riders back to the subway after the COVID-19 lockdown and to encourage the use of mass transit.
“For me, this presents a new direction,” the artist said.