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MTA Arts & Design


111th Street-104th Street-Woodhaven Boulevard - 75th Street - Cypress Hills

Kathleen McCarthy

Five Points of Observation, 1990-93

Wire-mesh sculpture in platform windscreens

Five Points of Observation, sited on the platform walls of five adjacent subway stations in Queens and Brooklyn, is composed of five colossal six-foot heads made of copper mesh positioned at different angles and inserted in specially cut openings in the windscreen walls that otherwise would block views from the platforms to the streets below. Positioning themselves in the heads, subway riders can look out onto the world literally through the eyes of the sculptural forms. The artist created faces both multiethnic and androgynous, leaving room for viewers to construct for themselves stories of who these haunting forms might be and what they might signify. The faces are constructed with steel armatures and a grid of wire mesh, which serves a protective as well as expressive function. The positioning of the forms varies from station to station, giving them further variety and expressiveness.

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