Client: Metropolitan Transportation Authority New York City Transit
Location: New York, NY, United States
Completion date: 2022
Public Art Agency
MTA Arts & Design
Mayer of Munich
MTA Construction & Development, Naik Group, AECOM
MTA Construction & Development – Stations Architecture (Times Square Shuttle), di Domenico + Partners (42 St Connector)
MLJ Contracting Corporation
Each One, Every One, Equal All, is an expansive permanent artwork at Times Square-42 St station, by celebrated artist Nick Cave. Each One, Every One, Equal All features more than four dozen of the artist’s signature Soundsuits – wearable sculpture that camouflage the body to conceal race, gender and class, forcing the viewer to look without judgment. The largest mosaic artwork in the MTA system and Cave’s largest permanent public artwork to date, the project contains 4,600 square feet of mosaic, based on recomposed source photos taken by James Prinz. Two mosaics, referred to individually as “Each One” and “Equal All,” are installed near the rebuilt 42 St Shuttle. “Every One,” spans the length of the new 42 St Connector, an in-system transfer between Times Square and Bryant Park stations. In addition to mosaic, “Every One” includes a video piece of the same name, shown on the quarter-hour on the eleven OUTFRONT digital screens. In the video many of the Soundsuits seen in the surrounding mosaic are fully activated by the movement of dancers. Throughout the Connector, colors from the glass mosaic on North and East walls are mirrored in the corresponding architectural finish on the South wall.
The MTA Arts & Design commission is intended to enhance the transit experience, bring awareness to the moment, and connect back to the street above and our connectedness as individuals. Sandra Bloodworth, Director, MTA Arts & Design, “The work carries a powerful message of equality and representation. Its name makes clear that the artwork, and the celebration, is meant for each and every one of us.” Artist Nick Cave, “Times Square is one of the busiest, most diverse and fabulously kinetic places on the planet. For this project I took the aboveground color, movement, and cross- pollination of humanity, bundled it into a powerful and compact energy mass that is taken underground and delivered throughout the station and passage. The artwork serves as a reminder that we are all unique and special individuals comprised of different characteristics and built from a lifetime of gathered memories.” “Each One” stands at an impressive 14.5 feet tall. The Soundsuits appear in various states of vertical movement and suspension, accentuated by stripes that run floor to ceiling. The movement and shape of forms is a nod to the famous New Year’s Eve ball drop on top of the One Times Square building directly above.
MTA Arts & Design, in conjunction with the design team, identified artwork locations selected to activate the space, and integrated the artwork into the station architecture, including the new 42 St Connector (360 linear feet). Mayer of Munich studio adopted innovative strategies to depict the unique and varied mixed media materials used in Cave’s Soundsuits (larger than life wearable sculptures) on which the mosaic is based. Using traditional mosaic techniques, as well as millefiori, printed, and etched glass, materials depicted in this piece include vintage textile, sequined appliqués, metal, hot pads, doilies, synthetic hair, hats, bags, bugle beads, wire, knitted and crocheted fabrics, and vintage toys, ceramic birds, and tole flowers. The mosaic approach translates the exuberant movements of performance and captures the energy and manner in which Soundsuits activate the space around them. The result is a permanent, immersive, mosaic installation that perpetuates the medium’s rich history throughout NYC’s transit system and demonstrates the potential for infrastructure to inspire, inform, and invigorate the passenger experience.
Nick Cave (b. 1959, Fulton, MO; lives and works in Chicago, IL) is a multi-disciplined artist, educator and foremost a messenger, working between the visual and performing arts through a wide range of mediums including sculpture, installation, video, sound, and performance. His Soundsuits camouflage the body, masking and creating a second skin that conceals race, gender and class, forcing the viewer to look without judgment. They serve as a visual embodiment of social justice that represent both brutality and empowerment. His work is shown nationally and internationally. Cave sees his work as an impetus for change in the community at large. He leads the Graduate Program of Fashion Department at the School of The Art Institute of Chicago and is represented by Jack Shainman Gallery in New York. First photo: MTA Arts & Design/Cheryl Hageman