The Times Square subway station is the busiest in the entire New York City subway system. Now, commuters will have something new to set their eyes on — vibrant and colorful mosaics created by artist Nick Cave.
"We're moving quickly, but there's also moments where everything does stop, and we take in that moment," Cave told CBS News. "And so it's really about that, and being able to sort of appreciate, the sort of art that you're surrounded by."
The mosaics are based on photographs of Cave's signature soundsuits, which are sculptures that were first born out of the 1992 police beating of Rodney King.
"As a Black man, I was in shock," he said. "I really didn't know what to do in that sort of moment. I am grateful, thankful that art has always been my savior. You know, it's the place where I knew that I could go to flush out these emotions and these sort of frustrations."
His first soundsuit was made of twigs he found in a Chicago park. The fluid motion of the sculpture made him realize it's something he could wear.
"The moment that I put it on, it... it hid my gender, race, class. And so I was forced to look at something without judgment," Cave said. "A lot of the soundsuits are built on discarded material, something less than, sort of bringing value to the unvalued. And building something from nothing, there's so much about this work to experience and to take in."
Sandra Bloodworth, who heads the program that chooses art for the public transit system, said Cave's mosaics embody the experience commuters should have.
"First thing they're gonna do is reach out and touch it," she told CBS News. "It brings beauty underground, and beauty that brings out our better nature, that brings out the best of us."
As for the artist, Cave is thrilled that his artwork will be on display for so many to see.
"I can't believe that... I would say probably 30 years ago I was writing in a journal, and I wrote the statement, 'Working toward what I'm leaving behind,'" he said. "And to think that this is one of those moments. This is here forever."
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