Duration- Prospect Avenue subway station

Submitted by Monika Bravo


Client: MTA Arts and Design

Location: Brooklyn, NY, United States

Completion date: 2017

Artwork budget: $202,000

Project Team

Industry Resource

juan carlos Ortiz


Industry Resource

Franz Mayer of Munich


Monika Bravo


5 murals (4ft x 25ft three of them 4ft x 21 ft,) in glass a combination of Mexican and Italian smalti. some glass is printed, direct mosaic method, modern technique.


“Cities are not mere descriptions of physical spaces, but also temporal and historical entities that morph over time.” Italo Calvino's text could describe not only the experience of a city in constant flux but the experience inside a subway station where strangers have to negotiate their few available space, these passengers are going home, to work, to school, they have dreams, memories, they are in a rush, what kind of city do they live in? what kind of city do they perceive? -the historical city? the multicultural city? the utopian city? To create a vivid experience with multiple compositions of vibrant forms and color inside along the different sites within the station, these will induce the passenger to engage in a way that is more introspective, taking him/her to a place of dreams, desires, hope, a colorful experience. Using some of my previous work as a reference, the abstract shapes intertwine with images of local landscape. Abstract shapes, vibrant colors, deconstructed maps, some visible cities can be seen some shapes can be part of the history of abstract art.


Since my work is mainly animated, I was very interested in the process of creating images interweaving pixels, and glass tesserae. Realizing some colors I had initially envisioned, could not be created, I worked closely with the master of mosaics in Munich to determine what I needed to make the best out of my original design, I learned diagonals and small detail could be more expensive, so I asked to have the area and the budget divided in % of techniques, small tesserae, medium size glass slabs and the same but printed. I decided to animate the designs and showed them in a Solo show and thereafter created the images for the final design. The studio of Franz Mayer made an outstanding translation of my original design. And MTA's project manager was amazing too.

Additional Information

Monika Bravo’s Duration places us in an abyss pulsing with vibrating waves of energy, where readability and meaning remain elusive. After Bergson’s understanding of time and his concept of duration—which differentiates between the time that we measure in intervals and the time of our experience—Bravo uses color to create a material contrast, a physical experience grounded in the circular duration of time. Oscillating between ancient and contemporary technologies, a conversation of particles emerges between tesserae and pixels. Thus rewriting a new code between the two languages of weaving and mosaic-making, connecting perception, illusion, time, technology, and the universal.