34th Street-Penn Station
The Garden of Circus Delights, 2001
Glass mosaic throughout station
The Garden of Circus Delights is the artist's homage to the circus, which makes annual visits to Madison Square Garden, located above the station, and also connected to the Long Island Rail Road. Eric Fischl's work is narrative and this work follows in this tradition. A series of murals takes commuters from the familiar to the bizarre circus world. "I thought it would be amusing," Fischl says, "to do a contemporary Dante's Inferno, to turn commuting into a spiritual quest." The murals portray fire-breathers, acrobats, and animals; gradually one realizes that a commuter has left home and been pulled into the circus, where he meets incredible circus characters and then, on the other side of the tent, he emerges in the white light and harmony, a commuter again, but transported and transformed."
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