If you happen to take the N, R or Q trains to the Fifth Avenue and 59th Street stop on your way to the Central Park Zoo, be sure to first participate in the underground Subway Art Safari that’s going on in the station, as you will not only encounter this colorful flock of Parrots, but also tiles mosaic murals of Penguins, Horses, Monkeys and other creatures.
While you can’t really help but notice this colorful wall at the entrance to the F Subway Line at Second Avenue and Houston Street, it takes a keen eye to spot the many street artist and taggers represented in this confined space. Aside from the large Skull and Demon Mural (not sure who the artist is, clues left in the comments are appreciated) displayed on the southern exposure of the Avalon Chemists building, we noticed the following:
Black and white tile portrait of David Bowie by Zimad.
Hektad Tile Mosaic
Suckadelic Star Wars parody action figure: Gay Empire Homotrooper.
Update March 12, 2017
I walked by today and the mural has recently been changed to this vibrant abstract by JPO ART, which I like much better than the previous design. As you can see, the Hektad, Suckdelic and Zimad pieces are still intact.
One of the reasons to visit the American Museum of Natural History is taking part in the Art Safari that you get to enjoy on your way out of the subway! Every time we arrive on the C Train stop at 81st Street and Central Park West to enjoy another urban adventure at this fantastic Museum, we find a new tile mosaic that we’ve not seen before. This pair of colorful parrots rest on the stairway handrail, exiting to the street.
Platform Diving consists of seven glass mosaic murals commissioned by the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority for the Houston Street subway station (at Varick Street) and installed in 1994 on the walls of the northbound and southbound subway platforms of the 1 Train, and in a waiting area by the token booth.
The mosaics depict undersea creatures — turtles, beluga whales, octopi, seals, and a manatee–swimming through the subway tunnels, platforms, and passenger cars. Occasionally, humans observe their movements. The concept behind the choice of imagery was to represent a fanciful, surreal encounter between the world we normally inhabit and the one we might encounter when we descend below the surface.
What’s so crazy is that these murals have been up for nearly 20 years, and I just them for the first time in early September, because I never get off at this stop.
Northern Manhattan’s Washington Heights at 207th Street/ Inwood: Here, the A Train begins its 31 mile journey from NYC through Brooklyn to either Lefferts Boulevard or Far Rockaway in Queens. This is where we spotted this distinctive artwork, specifically designed for the station. On the opposite side of this corridor you’ll find a complimentary message, “At the Start…” Both murals’ mirror mosaic text were created from silk screened silver tiles in 1999 by artist Sheila Levrant de Bretteville. Beautiful.