Artist Nick Cave is no stranger to giant, unforgettable NYC-based public art installations.
He’s taken over Times Square billboards with his Soundsuits, and brought colorful dancing horses to Grand Central Terminal.
He used the same concept in an installation of the permanent, two-dimensional, mosaic display.
“As you’re walking and passing through, it is moving along with you. My idea … was that it operated the same way in which the people were moving through the space”, Cave said.
Nic’s latest project is just as ambitious: he’s produced a three-piece installation inside the new 42nd Street Shuttle connector.
“I’m sure everyone was wondering how is this all going to translate from, you know, the sort of fiber materials into a mosaic glass,” Cave told Reuters.
Soundsuits are inspired by African traditions, but since they cover the whole body and are so large, they obscure any details about the person, thus leaving the viewer without judgment.
The installation includes at least 25 figures made of glass set against a white background (which is also a mosaic). The designs were printed out to-scale and the glass pieces “were glued directly onto a mesh backing,” which explains the huge amount of detail present in the finished product. Breaking up the mosaics in the middle are 11 digital screens, and videos of dancers performing in their Soundsuits play three out of every 15 minutes on those.
From beneath a pink-and-black cloak of raffia, carefully crafted out of glass shards, pokes a contemporary sneaker in shades of salmon, white and maroon. Cave likes the play that’s happening here: The form is sometimes figurative, sometimes abstract.