Walter Martin and Paloma Muñoz
A Gathering, 2001
Bronze sculptures on token booth, railings, and beams throughout mezzanine
Walter Martin and Paloma Muñoz have turned the Canal Street Station into a subterranean aviary. There are dozens of birds - 174 grackles and blackbirds, in a number of different poses, and seven crows, all cast in bronze and given a glossy black patina. They are seen roosting on railings and perched in groups, like people waiting for the train, watching, lost in thought, or chatting. Birds, the artists note, are very social creatures - just like New Yorkers, and riders may find echoes of themselves and other subway riders in their lively expressions. Canal Street is a busy commercial thoroughfare, devoid of nature. A Gathering compensates for this by enlivening the space and providing respite from the dense traffic and bustling commercialism above.
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