New York Subway Murals Celebrate Influential Icons from Bronx History

Bronx History Icons Mosaic Murals by Rico Gaston

Beacons(2018) © Rico Gatson, NYCT 167th Street Station. Commissioned by Metropolitan Transportation Authority Arts & Design. Gil Scott-Heron portrait derived from a photograph by Paul Natkin.

In celebration of some of the most influential figures from Bronx history, Brooklyn-based artist Rico Gaston has recently unveiled his series of glass mosaic murals at the 167th Street B/D subway station. Titled Beacons, the eight icons featured include Gil Scott-Heron, Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, Audre Lorde, James Baldwin, Maya Angelou, Reggie Jackson, and Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

The MTA (Metropolitan Transportation Authority) says in a press release: “Beacons is a celebration of the energy and spirit of individuals who have been influential within the Bronx community and have received positive acclaim for their cultural, political and artistic contributions.” Gaston also admits that each of his mosaic subjects have impacted him personally, contributing to his worldview on art and politics.

One mural pays homage to Bronx-based Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor—the first Hispanic and Latina Supreme Court Justice in history. Another depicts James Arthur Baldwin, an influential American novelist and social critic whose essays explore the racial, sexual, and class divisions of mid-20th-century American societies.

Each mural portrait was based on a sourced photograph and then artistically translated into glass mosaic using thousands of glass tile fragments. Surrounded by strong sunbeam-like lines in red, orange, yellow, black, and green, the mosaic figures appear to radiate their own positive energy.

Brooklyn-based artist Rico Gaston has recently unveiled his series of glass mosaic murals at the 167th Street B/D subway station.

Bronx History Icons Mosaic Murals by Rico Gaston

Beacons(2018) © Rico Gatson, NYCT 167th Street Station. James Baldwin portrait derived from a photograph by Steve Schapiro.

Bronx History Icons Mosaic Murals by Rico Gaston

Beacons(2018) © Rico Gatson, NYCT 167th Street Station. Commissioned by Metropolitan Transportation Authority Arts & Design. Celia Cruz portrait derived from a photograph owned by Celia Cruz Entertainment LLC.

The series, titled Beacons, celebrates of some of the most influential Bronx history icons.

Bronx History Icons Mosaic Murals by Rico Gaston

Beacons(2018) © Rico Gatson, NYCT 167th Street Station. Commissioned by Metropolitan Transportation Authority Arts & Design. Audre Lorde portrait derived from a photograph by Jack Mitchell.

Bronx History Icons Mosaic Murals by Rico Gaston

Beacons(2018) © Rico Gatson, NYCT 167th Street Station. Commissioned by Metropolitan Transportation Authority Arts & Design. Celia Cruz portrait derived from a photograph owned by Celia Cruz Entertainment LLC.

Bronx History Icons Mosaic Murals by Rico Gaston

Beacons(2018) © Rico Gatson, NYCT 167th Street Station. Commissioned by Metropolitan Transportation Authority Arts & Design. Maya Angelou portrait derived from a photograph by Brian Lanker.

Bronx History Icons Mosaic Murals by Rico Gaston

Beacons(2018) © Rico Gatson, NYCT 167th Street Station. Commissioned by Metropolitan Transportation Authority Arts & Design. Tito Puente portrait derived from a photograph by Martin Cohen.

Bronx History Icons Mosaic Murals by Rico Gaston

Beacons (2018) © Rico Gatson, NYCT 167th Street Station. Commissioned by Metropolitan Transportation Authority Arts & Design.James Baldwin portrait derived from a photograph by Steve Schapiro.

Rico Gaston: Website

My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by Rico Gaston.

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The post New York Subway Murals Celebrate Influential Icons from Bronx History appeared first on My Modern Met.

Source: mymodernmet.com

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