Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

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Losing my Marbles (2003).

Artist: Lisa Dinhofer.

Losing my Marbles, image 2, Detail 3. Glass mosaics on mezzanine walls of the 42nd Street (Times Square) for the A, C and E trains. This mosaic was just installed since I photographed it as the adhesive was still drying and the workmen were sweeping up their mess!

Image: GrrlScientist 9 September 2008 [larger view].

Lisa Dinhofer uses representations of toy marbles to challenge our imaginations by playing with illusions that alter physical perceptions. Her work spans a 32-foot-long wall and two adjacent side walls. Created in glass mosaic, the main artwork consists of a gold-colored trompe l’oeil frame surrounding a black and white tiled floor that serves as the backdrop for the marbles, which seem to roll toward the viewer. On the side walls, free-floating marbles seem to breaking free in space. Dinhofer comments, “Every object I paint actually exists; I work from life. The space I create is believable — but not real. Because I design my own space, I call myself an ‘illusionist’ painter rather than a ‘realist’. The space in my work is invented. It’s flattened — like the space we see on a television or a computer screen.”

I have photographed glass tile mosaic artworks from several NYC subway stations now, so far, all are westside Manhattan subway lines; including the Cathedral Parkway/110th Street platform (downtown-bound 1 train only), 42nd street/Times Square upstairs platform (1, 2 & 3 trains), West 66th street/Lincoln Center Station (1 train), West 34th Street/Pennsylvania Station (A, C & E trains), Chambers Street (A & C trains), Houston Street (1 train), Pennsylvania “Penn” station (1, 2 & 3 trains) [subway art archives] and, my favorite subway station of all, the American Museum of Natural History station at 81st and Central Park West (B & C trains) [AMNH archives].


  1. #1 Cynthia
    September 29, 2008

    Beautiful! Does anyone else see metaphase in this mosiac?

    Thank you for sharing the subway art. I love art in public spaces.

  2. #2 "GrrlScientist"
    September 30, 2008

    cynthia — now that you mention it, i see it, too! thanks for pointing this out.

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