Client: MTA New York City Transit 23rd Street Station
Location: New York, United States
Completion date: 2018
Public Art Agent
Metropolitan Transportation Authority Arts & Design
Mayer of Munich
Eleven delightful, gem-like mosaic portraits of William Wegman’s famous Weimaraner’s adorn north and southbound platforms of the F/M train lines at the 23rd Street station. In “Stationary Figures,” the artist’s unique and playful relationship to his subjects is contagious. Passengers revel in the company of these human-like canine companions and greatly benefit from the humor and sense of humanity they have to offer.
Speaking about the project, Wegman said, “I wanted to create portraits of individual characters, people who you might see next to you on the platform. For these I dressed the dogs in more or less ordinary clothes, nothing too fashionable. I was very interested in the way in which photographs, even the out of focus dogs in the background of some images, could be translated into mosaic by Mayer of Munich, who skillfully turned grey stones into grey dogs.”
Wegman says of this new project: “For Stationary Figures, I photographed my two dogs Flo and Topper in poses that suggest the way people group themselves on the subway platform as they wait for the train to appear. In some of the works the dogs are unadorned, just dogs, but for others I wanted to create portraits of individual characters, people who you might see next to you on the platform. For these I dressed the dogs in more or less ordinary clothes, nothing too fashionable. I was very interested, throughout this project in the way in which photographs, even the out of focus dogs in the background of some images, could be translated into mosaic."
William Wegman is an internationally renowned photographer who lives and works in New York, where he continues to paint, draw, make videos and take photographs of his dogs, Flo and Topper. William Wegman’s work has been exhibited in museums and galleries internationally since the 70s. Recent exhibitions include "Before/On/After: William Wegman" and "California Conceptualism" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, "Dressed and Undressed" at Sperone Westwater Gallery and a traveling exhibition "William Wegman: Being Human" based on a book of the same title (Thames and Hudson/Chronicle), which opens this month at the National Gallery in Melbourne, Australia.