New Transit Art: Experience the Joyous Nick Cave Installation

November 16, 2021

‘Every One’ mosaic in 42 St Connector

Art brings beauty, color, culture and delight to subway and train stations throughout the MTA.

The latest addition to our artistic treasure trove is Each One, Every One, Equal All, by celebrated artist Nick Cave, at the Times Sq-42 St Station. The first and largest section of the permanent art commission, ‘Every One’ opened to the public in September. Comprised of glass mosaic and video ‘Every One’ runs the length of the new 42 St Connector, an in-system walking transfer between the 42 St Shuttle at Times Square and Bryant Park stations.

Nick Cave's ‘Every One’ mosaic in 42 St Connector
Photo courtesy of MTA/Trent Reeves

‘Every One’ is an expansive mosaic and 11-screen video installation that runs 360 linear feet and covers over 3,200 square feet. It includes more than two dozen Soundsuits, some larger than life and bursting with joy. Like the suits themselves, the installation’s shifting scale and perspectives test the boundaries of visibility. Even in their ability to delight, there is power and command in their presence.

“Times Square is one of the busiest, most diverse and fabulously kinetic places on the planet,” said Artist Nick Cave.  “For this project I took the aboveground color, movement, and crosspollination of humanity, bundled it into a powerful and compact energy mass that is taken underground and delivered throughout the station and passage. ‘Every One’ places the viewer within a performance, directly connecting them with the Soundsuits as part of an inclusive community of difference.”

Nick Cave's ‘Every One’ mosaic in 42 St Connector
Photo courtesy of MTA Arts & Design

Cave is best known for his Soundsuits, wearable sculpture which camouflage the body within, creating a second skin to conceal race, gender and class, freeing the wearer and forcing the viewer to look without judgment. With references to African ceremonial costumes and masks, armor, couture fashion, and Carnival, Cave’s elaborate armatures offer both protection and freedom when worn. His suits may be experienced as static sculptures, or through video, mixed-media, and live performance. Constructed from everyday objects and found materials such as colored hair, crocheted doilies, buttons, beads, fabric, raffia, twigs, toys and trinkets, the sounds produced by the suits through activation give the artworks their name.

Video screens displaying Soundsuits in motion part of Nick Cave's newest installation in the 42 St Connector
Courtesy of MTA Arts & Design

Riders are invited to marvel in the expression of color and movement now permanently part of the Times Square experience. ‘Every One’ will be joined by two additional mosaics, ‘Each One’ and ‘Equal All,’ both scheduled for installation at Times Sq-42 St station next year. When complete, Each One, Every One, Equal All, will feature more than four dozen Soundsuits and be one of the largest mosaic projects in the New York City Transit system. The commission is intended to enhance the journey, bring awareness to the moment, and connect back to the street above and our connectedness as individuals.

Nick Cave's ‘Every One’ mosaic in 42 St Connector
Photo courtesy of MTA Arts & Design

“At Times Square, Nick continues his practice of engaging audiences and extending himself into the community connecting those who encounter the art and imagining themselves as part of the parade,” said Sandra Bloodworth, Director, MTA Arts & Design. “Nowhere is the audience larger and more in step with his intent than here at Times Square, which now carries Cave’s message that each and every one of us is equal. That message reverberates in one of the most diverse public spaces on earth."

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