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Chuck Close Will Bring Mosaic Portraits to the Second Avenue Subway

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The MTA will install 12 works by the artist at the 86th Street station

The Second Avenue Subway opening may be delayed again, and it’s possible that it doesn’t meet its December 2016 deadline, but at least there’s some great artwork to look forward to when it finally does. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced this week that it was preparing to install 12 mosaic portraits by artist Chuck Close at the Second Avenue and 86th Street stop, Untapped Cities reports.

That the MTA was going to install artwork by celebrated artists along the Second Avenue subway stops has been a known fact for the past few years with the works of Jean Shin, Sarah Sze, and Vik Muniz to go up at different stops as well. But installation work on Close’s mosaics are now underway, and the MTA timed the announcement to the artist’s birthday on July 5.

This permanent installation was created at a cost of $1 million (the total artwork project had a budget of $5 million), and each of Close’s works will measure about 10 feet high and cover just over 1,000 square feet. Once the station opens, they’ll be seen at the 83rd and 86th Street entrances as well as the concourse at that station. For this particular work, Close worked with tiles to create the mosaic look.