"The platform of the Burnside Station (#4 Train) in The Bronx, is a unique one in that it is in the middle of the uptown and downtown tracks. The view is classic. One’s eye follows
the tracks as they merge together just in front of the station and swoop down through the city towards the distant magical Manhattan skyline.
I had made an etching of this view years ago (see below), and had thought for years about painting it. I now had the additional reason; of this being the closest station to Bronx Community
College, and thereby especially relevant to the commission."
"Having recently completed the artwork for the Freeman Street Station (the 2/5 line in The Bronx), I put in a call to my friends at the MTA inquiring about how to get permission to
paint on the platform.
A month, many emails, a short essay, and conversations with several MTA employees later, I got the green light and showed up one morning at the station with all my gear. I
told the woman in the booth that she should have received a message giving me permission to paint on the platform. She looked at me quizzically. No message. She was good enough
to make some calls (in between attending to customers). I waited.
Finally, she informed me, 'Well, I had no luck finding anyone who knows anything about this. I guess I did everything I could do.' Chagrined, I asked, 'Do you mean I have to go home?'
'No,' she said, 'I’ll buzz you in.'
Thus began a four day engagement on The Burnside platform, with strong winds buffeting my canvas, friendly conductors stopping to check on my progress, and the incessant screech and rattle
of trains coming and going."
We think the phone calls, emails, winds, screeches and rattling were all worth it! What an amazing piece! What do you think?
One things for sure, the next time he wants to paint on a platform, we bet he can skip the phone calls, emails and essays just by asking the station attendant for permission!