5. Times Square
Though artist Max Neuhaus’ sound installation Times Square is experienced outside of the subway, it deserves a mention on this list. Most people will walk right over the piece without even realizing they have just stepped on a piece of art that has been part of New York City since 1977. Those who do stop to listen will be treated to a unique auditory experience.
As you walk around different areas of the subway ventilation grate, new sounds emerge. These noises are created by a machine below the surface that amplifies sounds from the various chambers of the subway vent underground. Neuhaus explained, “What delighted me was in fact these short tunnels over here because each one has its own resonance and is a little different in length. The sound that is heard on the surface isn’t just the sound that I’m putting in here, it’s what the sound does to this chamber.” This site-specific sound sculpture is a hidden gem in the center of Times Square, located between Broadway and 7th Avenues (45th & 46th Street).
Uncover more hidden and overlooked works of art in the New York City subway system by joining our upcoming subway art talk with Untapped New York’s Chief Experience Officer Justin Rivers!
Art in the NYC Subway