subway Art



Did you know some of the best artwork in NYC can be found in the subway? Every NYC subway station has fun and quirky works of art. The Time Square Subway Station might have the most of all! Let’s explore some secrets of the Times Square subway station and the public art it holds!


New York in Transit


Did you know that the very first African American artist to have their work display at MoMA also has a giant work of public art in the subway station? I am here at the 42nd Street subways station under a work by renowned artist Jacob Lawrence. Many see this as Lawrence’s part gift to the city he loved as it was his last public work here and it’s called NEW YORK IN TRANSIT, depicting NYC life as it would have been seen from an elevated train. This enormous glass mosaic pays tribute to the strength and diversity of New York City depicting different joyous aspects of its neighborhoods, cultural life, pleasure, sports, and naturally, as it is in a subway station, the subway! Well, this work certainly makes our commute more joyous! Art is everywhere here! For more NYC follow me!




Did you know that you see artwork depicting the Persephone Myth in the TImes-Square 42 street subway? But you might not have originally recognized it as such. This is the Return of SPRING/ONSET of Winter by Jack Beal. In the Greek myth, the beautiful Persephone, depicted here, was kidnapped by Hades, king of the underworld. Her mother, Demeter, goddess of the harvest, fell into despair causing famine for humans. Her grief was so strong that Hades eventually decided to let Persephone go provided she ate nothing on her way out, but Persephone spied a Pomegranate and ate 6 seeds. Forced to negotiate with Hades, it was decided she would have to spend 6 months below ground, one for every seed she ate, and would be permitted to go above ground with her mother the remaining six months. This mural adapts the myth to New York City, and we see Persephone descend below the earth via subway platform during the onset of winter…you’ll notice a poster for Dante’s DIVINE COMEDY cleverly placed there. During the the RETURN OF SPRING, you see a produce market including a woman holding a pomegranate, as well as Persephone carrying flowers with ehr mother Oh – and the artist decided to work himself into this mural, as the man with the jack hammer with his dog alongside him! Make sure to see this stunning work of art next time you visit Times Square and for more NYC follow me! 




Did you know that on its busiest day, over 400,000 people can pass through Times Square? And do you know what they are all doing? They are all doing different things! 400,000 thousand different things, and it’s this eclectic diversity and exciting energy that artist Toby Buanogurio captures with her subway artwork installations times square 35 times. Along the glass wall between the 123 trains and NRQW trains, you’ll find a glass wall, and if you look closely you’ll find these 3-D works of work set into the wall, each depicting a different vibrant Times Square Scene featuring fashion, arts, food, culture and more. These colorful vignettes were installed in 2005 and continue the light the way for commuters. For more NYC, follow me! 




Perhaps the most famous NYC “subway secret” is the giant Roy Lichtenstein mural in the 42 Street Times Square Subway station. Appropriately called “Times Square Mural,” this expansive works of art features futuristic looking trains and images from the 1964 World’s Fair. One will also notice the very prominent number 42 worked into Lichtenstein’s design. Make sure you stop and look at a mural by one of NYC’s most famous native artists. 


The vibrant and dynamic subway art in Times Square stands as a testament to the intersection of artistic expression and urban life. These captivating displays not only enhance the visual landscape of one of the world’s most iconic locations but also serve as a reflection of the diverse and dynamic energy that defines New York City. The kaleidoscope of colors, shapes, and messages woven into the fabric of Times Square’s subway art encapsulates the spirit of creativity and innovation that pulsates through the heart of the city. As visitors and locals alike traverse the bustling subway stations, they are treated to an immersive experience that transcends the mundane, elevating the urban commute into a gallery of contemporary expression. In this ever-evolving metropolis, the subway art of Times Square remains an enduring emblem of the city’s cultural richness and the boundless possibilities that emerge when art and the urban landscape seamlessly converge.

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