Oh, my gosh, how much do I love this installation? Located in the underground passageway between the 6th Ave. subway station at 42nd St. and the station exit on 5th Ave., Under Bryant Park by Samm Kunce references the park and the main branch of the New York Public Library, both of which are located directly above.
Per usual, between the crappy lighting and the reflective surfaces, I struggled to take photos that really do justice to the art. The quote is from Carl Jung, “Nature must not win the game, but she cannot lose:”
I spent a long time in this hallway, waiting for people to pass so that I could capture details of the work without the requisite crowds:
Slowing down and even stopping in a subway station is an interesting exercise in trying to focus on this in-between place as its own destination, all the while strangers briefly glare at me because I’m not power-walking like I’m apparently supposed to:
But the rewards were rich as I honed in on the textures and details of the work, allowing my thinking to slow down and contemplate what was right in front of me instead of where I was actually going:
The theme is the interconnectedness of various systems, from roots to pipes to literature to the entire NYC subway, executed in glass mosaic and etched granite:
Some of the glass mosaic glitters like gold, reminding me that Bryant Park is the site for Fashion Week:
I think my favorite parts of this extensive installation is when the art meets the default subway tile:
Under Bryant Park was awarded the 2002 Best Public Art project by the New York Municipal Art Society. Check out some more photos here and on the artist’s site.