Monday, May 20, 2013

MTA Public Art—Central Ave Station: Generation Dynamica

I'm thrilled to officially announce my receiving a second commissioned artwork from the MTA. It will be a permanent installation of public art for the Central Ave. Subway Station in Bushwick, Brooklyn on the M line. In total, there will be 20 (two sets of 10) panels that will feature the artwork cut out of 30 X 44.5"- 316 stainless steel panels. The panels will serve as windscreens for the elevated subway station.

This post will feature the images of the final art that will be laser cut out of the panels, some of the images from the original proposal and explanations of the process for the project and how it evolved.

Architectural renderings of the station and a comp of the final 2-panel option.

Final art for laser-cutting.

Photo sample of 316 Stainless Steel Panels (for color and tone).


The initial proposal had panel sets of four (4) grouped together to be painted black and were much more kinetic and vibrating, in regard the visuals. At this point I understood that there wasn't much that couldn't be done in regard to the actual cutting of the panels so I was mostly concerned with getting my ideas and intent across to the selection committee. If the idea was chosen, then we can easily figure out the details regarding the execution.

The three images above are from— The original proposal I had submitted, all of the art for the 4-panel option, the art inset within the architectural drawings and a comp of the art (to a "relative scale") in a photo of the existing station. 

I had also included a 2-panel option in the initial proposal. I was really surprised that I preferred this option. It seemed to broaden the overall experience of the art when it was placed into the architectural drawings (images below).

In the end, the committee decided upon the 2-panel option with the feedback of —1. Figure out how to solve the problem of the smaller figures and art needing to connect somehow as the panels need to be a single piece of laser cut steel. 2. Tone down the vibrating aspect of the art, just a bit. 3. Perhaps the stainless steel natural finish would be a nice option for the art. All sounded good.

The final art—all together.

I have had such a strong connection to this area of NYC because from 1999 until 2007 I lived in, and ran, my art studio out of my apartment near the M line subway that runs down Myrtle Avenue. While living there I felt openly welcomed and, as much as possible, integrated into the community. I've experienced it as a community with a rich cultural past and heritage that broadened my own cultural experience. Strangely though, while I was living there I was reading Tropic of Capricorn by Henry Miller and in the book there is an entire passage that describes how Myrtle Avenue “...leads to America’s emptiness” and how nothing of value or substance has ever emerged from Myrtle Avenue. The passage goes on to describe an insufferable bleakness and sorrow about Myrtle Avenue that simply escalates with each paragraph. I remember laughing out loud and I was really astounded at how strange it was to  actually be living in the place that this bleak passage referenced and how this sentiment was entirely contrary to my own experience of living there. What I had witnessed, firsthand, on Myrtle Avenue was a vibrant, diverse, welcoming and thriving community of families and individuals who were actively engaged in their lives, finding joys and satisfactions throughout and expressing themselves and their interests to the fullest. 

Myrtle Ave Apt.—backyard.

While my wife was briefly living with me during the last few months before I moved away from Myrtle Ave, she was talking to someone at a party who was raised in the neighborhood and had found his way to a prominent position in the music industry and when she mentioned where she was living he paused and said “Now that’s a dynamic neighborhood...”. My thoughts exactly...

The piece is titled—Generation Dynamica

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