Client: MTA New York City Transit Prospect Avenue Station
Location: Brooklyn, United States
Completion date: 2017
Franz Mayer of Munich
Duration was fabricated with Mexican and Italian smalti and digitally printed glass and is installed at the MTA Prospect Ave R Line station on the R Line, spanning five sections of both the southbound and northbound platform walls. Each section is approximately 4 ft high and 25 ft long.
The artist refers to Italo Calvino’s text when describing this spectacular new work: “Cities are not mere descriptions of physical spaces, but also temporal and historical entities that morph over time.” For her, the text describes not only the experience of a city in constant flux but the experiences inside the subway station where strangers have to negotiate available space as a part of their everyday lives; 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? A vivid experience with multiple compositions of vibrant forms and color, along the different sites within the station allows for passengers to respond in a introspective way -- taking them to a place of dreams, desires, hope, a colorful experience. Using some of her previous work as a reference, the abstract shapes intertwine with images of local landscape. Abstract shapes, vibrant colors, deconstructed maps, and urban images together make this work an important addition to -- as well as reflection of -- the city.
Since much of her work is animated, Bravo wanted to interweave materials to give the feeling of “pixelation.” She worked closely with mosaic artisans in our Munich studio to determine the best translation techniques for her design proposal. By combining a stunning mix of hand-cut glass smalti, larger sections of poured venetian glass cakes and digital print on glass cake, the studio brought the artists vibrant concept to life. The intricacy, wide range of color, texture, and interplay of line and form will delight passengers and invite them to engage in the act of discovery as they traverse the platform and observe how the piece unfolds.
Artist Monika Bravo was commissioned by the MTA Arts and Design program to create five mosaics throughout the station, two southbound and three northbound. After winning the MTA permanent commission, Bravo went to Munich to understand how to translate pixels into mosaics by working closely with the fabrication studio Franz Mayer of Munich.