18. Go at Moynihan Train Hall
© Kehinde Wiley.Anoriginal work of art commissioned by Empire State Development in partnership with Public Art Fund for Moynihan Train Hall. Photographer: Nicholas Knight. Image courtesy of the Artist, Sean Kelly, New York, Empire State Development and Public Art Fund, NY
As you enter Moynihan Train Hall at the 33rd Street Midblock entrance, look up to see Kehinde Wiley’s new artwork, Go. The site-specific installation is a backlit, hand-painted, stained-glass triptych inspired by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo’s 18th-century ceiling frescoes. The painting reimagines decorative Renaissance and Baroque paintings and gives the style a modern twist.
Wiley’s fresco features young, Black New Yorkers in breakdance poses floating amongst a sky filled with clouds, pigeons, and a jet plane. Rather than wearing tunics and robes like the subjects in classical frescoes, Wiley’s subjects are in sneakers, crop tops, and hoodies. Mixing elements from modern-day New York City with the 18th-century painting style creates a “surrealist dreamscape that advances a narrative of buoyancy, possibility, and survival.”