Tom Otterness - Life Underground
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Life Underground

Tom Otterness January 2001

14th and 8th Avenue, West 14th Street, NY, New York, United States

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Description

MTA Aarts and Design

The scores of figures created by Tom Otterness to Life Underground invigorate and transform the transit environment into a place of joy and whimsy.

His small-scale sculptures invoke the subway and lore of the city and include an alligator rising out of a sewer to devour a man, workers carrying oversize versions of the tools used to build the subways, and people sneaking under fences to watch the construction or sweep up piles of pennies. There are also colossal feet and a totem-like sculpture whose human features are formed into the shape of a telephone.

Otterness placed his creations in unexpected places-beneath stairs and pillars, hanging from the ceiling, and on benches and railings-to surprise and delight riders as they come upon these humorous and captivating inhabitants.

Title Life Underground
Artist Tom Otterness
Created January 2001
Commissioned by MTA Arts & Design
Location 14th and 8th Avenue, West 14th Street, NY, New York, United States
Map Google Map
Date Added to Art Pigeon March 2018
Contributing Users unofficial-mtaartsdesign
Tags
glass installation bronze subway

Articles

Aug. 4, 2016

The Best Subway Stations In NYC

Gothamist

181st Street—A If you don't mind going a little deeper underground than usual (though not as deep ... A/C/E/, LM Is this station's placement on the list entirely due to its Tom Otterness sculptures? For the most part, yeah, but what can I say, whatever ...

April 27, 2018

Six Times Journalists on the Paper’s History of Covering AIDS and Gay Issues

The New York Times

This was when the Indiana teenager Ryan White was dying, basketball star Magic Johnson announced he’d contracted H.I.V., Tom Hanks won the Oscar for playing ... and their desire to have an openly queer life. The Times spent much of the 1980s figuring ...

Oct. 4, 2011

The Dog-Killing Woes of Tom Otterness

Observer

In 1977, not so long after moving to New York from Wichita, Tom Otterness shot his dog ... it was really inexcusable to take a life in service of that.” A foot-tall bronze statue of a dog, done in Mr. Otterness’ comic, through-a-glass-darkly style ...

March 16, 2012

Curator's Choice: "Life Underground" with Tom Otterness

PBS

Use one of the services below to sign in to PBS: You've just tried to add this video to your Watchlist so you can watch it later. But first, we need you to sign in to PBS using one of the services below. You’ll be able to manage videos in your Watchlist ...

May 11, 2011

Tom Otterness, dog killer: Cute sculptures disguise artist's cruel past

New York Daily News

Last month, Community Board 1 approved a $750,000 installation by Tom Otterness for a public library in lower ... For example, at the 14th St. station, the little figures of "Life Underground" (2004) really make up a diorama of class struggle.

Sept. 5, 2014

Tom Otterness, Who Once Shot A Dog For Art, Mocked With New Guerilla Subway Sculpture

Gothamist

In 1977, when he was 25-years-old, artist Tom Otterness adopted a shelter ... "The piece was not really about calling Otterness out for the Shot Dog video. It's about calling him out for not including himself in Life Underground. Life Underground seems ...

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