Subway Portraits, 86th Street and 2nd Avenue Subway, New York, NY © Chuck Close 2016
Commissioned by MTA Arts & Design
Chuck Close created twelve large-scale portraits for 86th Street that are based on the artist’s painstakingly detailed photo-based portrait paintings. His various painting techniques have been interpreted in ten works as mosaic, and in two as ceramic tile. Ten of the artworks measure close to nine feet high. The people portrayed represent the variety of individuals that pass though the MTA system, and are chiefly cultural figures that have frequently been subjects in his artistic career spanning over half a century, including Sienna Shields, Zhang Huan, Kara Walker, Alex Katz, Cecily Brown, and Cindy Sherman, as well as two distinct self-portraits.