I Like New York Because Everything Interesting Can Be Found There

Submitted by Olivia Davis

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Client: NYU Langone Medical Center

Location: New York, NY, United States

Completion date: 2012

Artwork budget: $50,000

Project Team

Art Consultant

Olivia Davis

NYU Langone Medical Center

Artist

Tom Christopher

Overview

A site-specific mural created for the NYU Langone Medical Center Childhood Study Center and Child Psychiatry Unit. The piece is a fantasy vision by artist Tom Christopher, based on the reality of New York City street scenes with varying perspectives, expressionistic colors also incorporating tattoo imagery such as hearts and roses, split-tail swallows carrying Dear John letters and other allegorical symbols. Beginning in the Reception area with a 10’ by 30’ mural, the theme continues as a running narrative of over 85 images spread throughout the public corridors, waiting areas and staff offices.

Goals

The Chairman and Staff of the Child Psychiatry Unit wanted to create a New York City themed area where children could feel as if they were outside while being inside. Originally photography was discussed until the Art Manager suggested New York based painter Tom Christopher. The problem was how to incorporate imagery in a large space. The artist decided that doing a large mural and incorporate small elements to continue the theme throughout would be comprehensive. Working with the Project Manager, Chairman, and Staff the artist provided mock-ups and options for the decals throughout the space. Everyone decided on Times Square. The Times Square/NYC theme was chosen to express the beauty that surrounds people from towering skyscrapers, bike messengers, skateboarders, pedestrians to the fire plugs and traffic lights. Designed to enhance one’s experience at NYUCSC with a positive and optimistic vision.

Process

To incorporate the theme of Times Square into a clinical space, the artist worked closely with the Chairman and staff in Child Psychiatry to choose the individual skateboards, bikes, taxi cabs, etc... that would be fun and appropriate through-out. Once imagery was chosen the artist decided to use a decal material so that children could touch and interact with the mural and individual elements. So often in museums, children are not able to engage with the art, this application made that possible. For the large 10 by 30 foot mural in the main waiting area, the artist shows Times Square in a painterly affect but also chose to hide recognizable figures in the piece so that children could try and find then, for example a pirate sitting on a tour bus. When the pieces were ready to be installed, Tom Christopher worked with almost all staff members to inquire about the best places for the 85 decals to go. Many were used for wayfinding. For example,

Additional Information

From Artist: The title “I Like New York Because Everything Interesting Can Be Found There”, is derived from such disparate sources as Brooke Astor, who famously said she liked New York because