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Houston Street

Deborah Brown

Platform Diving, 1994

Glass mosaic on platform walls

Brown's seven glass mosaics are given a whimsical quality, as the artist creates aquatic creatures that act like humans as they wait for the train to arrive at their underwater station. A realistic beluga whale slides behind a commuter to read the newspaper headlines, and in another scene, a manatee waits patiently for a train seen approaching in the tunnel. Turtles dive off a subway platform in the title piece of the series. "I wanted to explore the analogy between subway travel and the movement of our fellow creatures through their natural environment," Brown says. "Underwater creatures navigate a complex spatial array of undersea passageways, much as we maneuver through our own manmade systems. I thought it would be provocative to portray them in a part of our world most closely resembling their own, but involved in activities familiar to us."

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