Travel theme: Art

One of the things I love most about art is how it can restore the spirit, and nowhere is this more needed than in the New York subway. Commuting via subway can be arduous at the best of times, and the dead heat of summer is not the best of times. While the subway trains themselves are usually pleasantly air-conditioned, the platforms and tunnels develop a unique microcosm that resembles a urinal…in a sauna…that is located approximately 3 miles from the surface of the sun. Tempers fray as commuters, sweat glistening from their brows, elbow each other out of the way to get off the platforms and out of the tunnels as quickly as possible.

It was on just such a day that I got a little lost on the way to Penn Station. I usually enter the station from street level, but this time, I got off at the 34th Street A/C/E station and absentmindedly followed a sign for Penn Station that led to one of those dreaded tunnels. It was quite empty – presumably because everyone else had wisely opted to get outside as quickly as possible. As I forged on, wondering how long it would take for me to go down with heatstroke, I rounded a corner and was greeted by a Garden of Circus Delights. No, it wasn’t a mirage, it was a fabulous glass mosaic by artist Eric Fischl, adorning the walls of the tunnel leading towards Penn Station.

subway art new york 34th penn station

subway art new york 34th penn station

subway art new york 34th penn station

The series of mosaics tell the story of a commuter who gets magically drawn into the weird and wacky world of the circus on his way to work. You follow his circus adventures as you travel along the tunnel, and at the end, he re-emerges, surrounded by white, still a commuter but somehow transformed.

subway art new york 34th penn station

Off we go!

subway art new york 34th penn station   subway art new york 34th penn station

subway art new york 34th penn station  subway art new york 34th penn station

subway art new york 34th penn station    subway art new york 34th penn station

subway art new york 34th penn station  subway art new york 34th penn station

While I wasn’t exactly transformed by the time I reached Penn Station, my spirits were definitely restored.

Art can be interpreted in so many different ways, I’d love to see your take on the theme.

If you’d like to join in, create your own post between now and next Friday, title it “Travel theme: Art” and put a link to this page in your blog post to make it easy for others to find your post.  Don’t forget to check back in next Friday for a new travel theme.

Have you had a memorable encounter with art in some shape or form?

xxx Ailsa

About ailsapm

Hi there! I’m Ailsa Prideaux-Mooney. I’ve lived in many places, and travelled to many more. I had a lot of fun getting there and being there, wherever there happened to be at the time. I climbed a castle wall in Czesky Krumlov, abseiled down cliffs to go caving in the west of Ireland, slept on the beach in Paros, got chased by a swarm of bees in Vourvourou (ok that wasn’t fun, but it was exciting), learned flower arranging in Tokyo, found myself in the middle of a riot in Seoul, learned to snowboard in Salzburg, got lost in a labyrinth in Budapest and had my ice cream stolen by a gull in Cornwall. And I’m just getting started. If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read so far, I’d love you to follow my travelogue - wheresmybackpack.com - and remember, anyone who tries to tell you it’s a small world hasn’t tried to see it all.
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198 Responses to Travel theme: Art

  1. Pingback: “Travel theme: Art” « Flickr Comments by FrizzText

  2. thanks again for inspiring Ailsa, my version this week (better late than never):
    http://flickrcomments.wordpress.com/2012/07/05/travel-theme-art/
    attention: female nudity, I hope it will not disturb your feelings …

    • ailsapm says:

      Lovely, frizztext, I saw one of these girls being painted last year, didn’t manage to snap a photo though, I was too fascinated by the process. 🙂

  3. Pingback: The Painted Tree « The Wanderlust Gene

  4. Pingback: Travel Theme: Art: Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens « beyondpaisley

  5. Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens! http://beyondpaisley.net/2012/07/05/travel-theme-art-philadelphias-magic-gardens/ Thanks for giving me a reason to revisit these. 🙂

  6. Pingback: Art On My Walls « The Urge To Wander

  7. Pingback: Travel Theme: Art | Spiritual World Traveler

  8. Pingback: Travel Theme: Art | StandingStill

  9. cinova says:

    Have really enjoyed the photographs from this theme. Sorry I am late with my entry, I have been on vacation with Humpback whales and Hippies at Byron Bay, NSW. Captured some great artwork while I was there. Enjoy the pics and if you are ever in the area, make sure you visit beautiful Byron Bay! http://cinova.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/travel-theme-art/

  10. Kavi says:

    Great art in your post here Ailsa !!

  11. Another find, Ailsa! You’ll soon be ready to compile your guidebook to hidden NYC treasures! 🙂

    Unfortunately I have to miss this challenge—we just got back from our Long Island kayak circumnavigation and are scrambling to catch up in ways great and small…

    • ailsapm says:

      I know, I read Johna’s post when you were getting to round Montauk – holy paddling, Batman – I can’t believe you circumnavigated Long Island by kayak – I’m looking forward to your posts about your journey! Welcome back to the blogosphere 🙂

  12. Pingback: It Ain’t Graffiti – It’s ART! | Lovin the Trip

  13. LubbyGirl says:

    Reckon late is better than never in some instances, eh? 🙂 Anyway, I saw this challenge just today, and I discovered I had a couple of photos of building art. I was quite impressed with the artist’s work, since my dream as a kid was to be an artist. *sigh* the closest I get to that now is taking pictures of others’ work. Here’s a snapshot of Dallas:

    http://lovinthetrip.wordpress.com/2012/08/08/it-aint-graffiti-its-art/

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