Aliza Nisenbaum, The Ones Who Make It Run

Aliza Nisenbaum‘s The Ones Who Make It Run depicts 16 essential workers from Port Authority and Delta Air Lines who make operations run at LaGuardia. The large-scale painting, which was installed as a mosaic, depicts pilots, customer service agents, flight attendants, and taxi dispatchers. Nisenbaum put a face to the everyday workers who are often behind the scenes making flights possible, selecting the 16 figures from a larger pool of employees. Each portrait accurately depicts the inspirational figures based on photographs and Zoom interviews.

Nisenbaum, who lives in Queens but grew up in Mexico City, took inspiration from Mexican muralists Diego Rivera and David Siqueiros for her work. A vinyl reproduction hangs in Concourse F while the future mosaic is built. Nisenbaum said the airport forces people to share space with strangers and have a heightened sense of responsibility for respecting others, sometimes gaining an understanding of the nuances of others’ personalities. The artwork is the only one behind Delta’s security checkpoint, reminding workers of their importance.

Next, check out the Art of Grand Central Terminal!