When in New York City, art isn’t just limited to art galleries and museums. What if I tell you that just for the price of a mere subway card, you can visit some of the best artworks in New York City. How, you ask. The good, old subway system of NYC is not only a fast and convenient mode of transit, it’s also home to some of New York City’s most visually appealing and thought-provoking works of art. As a matter of fact, the city’s subway stations are an excellent showcase for that sort of craftsmanship.
While NYC’s subway stations don’t necessarily need colorful mosaics or installations to have a distinctive style – those things definitely do give the commuters something lovely to look upon, and at times, to introspect.
From century-old bas-relief of a beaver to a brand-new mosaic made up of ceramic tile, New York City’s subway system never disappoints. If you’re the sort of person who’s willing to pay attention to the intricacies, there are several treasures hiding in plain sight, waiting to be seen. Only if you know where to look, a journey on the subway can turn to be of immense aesthetic pleasure.
Just so you know, some of these art installations are collaborations between artists, fabricators, and even the MTA itself.
Here’s our guide to help you find the best ones.
Subway Portraits by Chuck Close
Where: Second Avenue, 86th Street
Subway Works by George Heins and Christopher LaFarge
Where: Old South Ferry Station
Times Square Mural by Roy Lichtenstein
Where: Times Square Station, 42nd Street
Crescendo by Michael Ingui
Where: E 105 Street
Movers and the Shakers by Vincent Smith
Where: 116th Street
Harlem Timeline by Willie Birch
Where: 135th Street
Blooming by Elizabeth Murray
Where: Lexington Avenue, 59th Street