The MTA station at 14th Street and 8th Avenue is home to one of my favorite art installations in New York. I paid a brief visit to that station again last weekend to see Tom Otterness' Life Underground. Despite my hurry, I had to slow down and take in Otterness' work.
Life Underground is a collection of 100 small bronzes scattered through the platforms and passageways of the station. Each vignette (Otterness calls them "surprises") illustrates some aspect of life in New York. Otterness says the work when taken as a whole illustrates "the impossibility of understanding life in New York." Despite their cartoon-like appearance, these characters are telling the history of the city; warts and all.
Life Underground has been brightening the lives of New Yorkers and this visitor since 2001. If you find yourself on the A, C, E or L trains, jump off at 14th and 8th and soak in some Life Underground.