New York-based artist Beatrice Coron’s “All Around Town” poster will be up through the end of the year on the B, D, E and 6 lines as part Arts for Transit. She talks to Metro about creating art for the masses.
People on the subway are often tired from work, or bored with a long commute. Why make subway art?
I created the piece with commuters in mind. I displayed a lot of different sports and activities as we often plan future activities, or remember past ones, during our commute. I depicted yoga, baseball, golf … swimming, museum visits and lectures. It is a window for poetry and imagination in an unexpected place. I’m amazed how many people send me thank-you notes and telling me how thrilled they are to have this image while they're commuting.
You also show someone being stabbed. Are you trying to show us what New Yorkers get up to behind closed doors?
I depicted all sort of activities — some in public spaces and others in private places. Some real, others fictional. It is about daily life and stories you hear or read about New York City, stories I read in newspapers, books or that I developed in my imagination. For example, a coyote captured downtown can appear howling on a rooftop in my drawing.
The MTA asked you not to depict people riding on top of subway cars, which is illegal, so you turned them into birds. Was there anything else you couldn’t put in the piece?
I chose to show a cross-section of New York with some scenes underground, the subway, the buildings and some sky. At first I also wanted to include the waterfront and bicycle pathways but had not enough space for it after all.