From the MTA website:
“Flying Home: Harlem Heroes and Heroines is a mosaic mural that honors Harlem notables and makes them fly. The mural on one platform depicts performers, painters, and sports figures like Dinah Washington, Sugar Ray Robinson, and Josephine Baker. The opposite platform shows leaders like Malcolm X and writer Zora Neale Hurston, brought to life in mosaics that recall the cultural zenith of Harlem.”
The website continues: “The title is based on a Lionel Hampton song which Faith Ringgold heard as a child. The artist sought to capture its spirit in this work, which she expressed by posing the figures as if they were in flight. ‘I love every one of these people,’ Ringgold says, ‘I wanted to share those memories, to give the community – and others just passing through – a glimpse of all the wonderful people who were part of Harlem. I wanted them to realize what Harlem has produced and inspired.'”
Note: The new column “MTA Art Spotlight” will feature some of the impressive projects that have been commissioned by the MTA. If you see remarkable art work in the NYC subway, please let me know. Send an email to email@example.com with “MTA ART” in the subject line.
WNET’s documentary “Treasures of New York: Art Underground”