faces of the city

New York City subway map, 1985,

ARTIST NOTE: The subway was my main source of transportation. I referred to it constantly. Pretty soon I started seeing faces in the map and from there developed drawings of each burrough.

o The natural land contours outline facial structures.

o Subway routes and streets define the facial features.

Look at the subway map and overlay at right. Can you see the faces of the city?

Alina Cruz


Mixed media (colored pencil, paper, presstype, glue) on arches paper. 1986

Clockwise from right:
Bronx 36" X 30"
Queens 30" X 36
Brooklyn 36" X 30
Manhattan 26" X 46"
(Manhattan detail appears below Brooklyn)

In 1986 the city of New York requested submissions from artists for a permanent installation in one of its subway stations. Alina Cruz submitted a version of Faces of the City to be constructed of multicolored ceramic tiles

Although her proposal was featured as a finalist in a show at Columbus Circle, the city finally decided to go with a gold wall.

NYC map overlay
The Bronx Queens