New York, Jan 19 (EFE).- Murals with lush designs of leaves among which can be seen faces of people of different races starting Thursday are reminding people moving through downtown New York City’s heavily-traveled Penn Station that they don’t need to go far to enjoy nature.
The large-scale works, created by African American multimedia artist Derrick Adams and covering the columns and walls of the station’s two large halls, are titled “The City Is My Refuge” and are part of the Art at Amtrak series and a reminder of the “duality” that the densely populated urban area offers.
Adams told EFE that New York has always been known as a “cement jungle,” but he wanted to talk about the other part of the Big Apple where there is a huge network of green spaces that people really don’t seek out. Sometimes, he said, people have to get out of the city and head for rural places and, contrary to the stereotype, there are a lot of those in New York City.
The area, for instance, has numerous parks just a metro ride or bike ride away that cost nothing to enter and enjoy and where one can go to get a bite to eat or meet up with friends, said Adams, who is from Baltimore and for years has been taking Amtrak – and passing through Penn Station – to work in his studio in Brooklyn.
He said that, with the murals, he is seeking “to create a visual experience” for commuters and to have them encounter something “unexpected” by interacting with his art, whether that’s by simply looking at it, touching it or sitting down beside it for a while, in contrast to the more static experience he offers with his works currently on display at the nearby FLAG Art Foundation in Chelsea.
A week ago, at the Foundation gallery, the artist inaugurated an solo exposition titled “I Can Show You Better Than I Can Tell You” with about 20 large paintings that depict representative moments for the African American community in the Cubist style.
Art at Amtrak curator Debra Simon, who invited Adams to display his murals as part of the ongoing program, emphasized that the works, which will adorn Penn Station until July, “soften” the space and bring nature inside America’s busiest train station.