22 Stations

22 Stations, oil enamel on No Trespassing signs, 10x14" each, 2014

’22 Stations’ is a set of paintings evoking the lives, languages, music, history and urban inscape along the subway stations of the 7 train in New York City. Like good city haiku (is that an oxymoron?), this piece paints visual tableaux from words and phrases to conjure neighborhoods from Hell's Kitchen, midtown, Tudor City to Long Island City all the way to Flushing. '22 Stations' is a set of 16 paintings on aluminum No Trespassing signs, closely aligned to a poem by the artist. Recently 21 stations comprised the 7 line, but In 2015 the New York City subway added one more subway stop to the 7 line, at Hudson Yards, making it 22. It's about the patchwork quilt of culture across Queens as seen in the river of commerce, reflection, and imagination of the elevated subway.

’22 Stations’ figuratively features a meditation by Mercury, the god of travel, thieves, temptation, and toy trucks, including two World’s Fairs (red trolley cars now coral reefs for fish and squid in Delaware), shadows of Louis Armstrong, Malcolm X, and porcupines and ibises from Levittown, to Aviation High School, to cobbled lanes for Farsi poets, Italian shoemakers, and temple elders from Tibet. It reflects on Korean car parts men, chop shops, intellectuals, mad urban planners, the history of the demise of the American farmyard (and hints of our Native American ancestry), retooled lives, abuelas from Honduras, lawyers from Indonesia, drummers from Bangladesh, Colombian hair dressers, mobsters, and drag queens, Nepalese shamans, rooftop kale farmers, baby carriage pushing Dads and golf-course gardeners. A modern-day Stations of the Cross, Hiroshige's 53 Stages of the Tōkaidō or Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, thirty pilgrims set out from Hudson Yards to wend their ways to the Weeping Beech in Chinatown, in Flushing, where bats can still be seen in belfries.