Walking on Sunshine
June 28, 2011 § 2 Comments
On September 9th, Philadelphia will receive an exiting new piece of public art. Margery Amdur, Philadelphia artist, will install her animated and uniquely designed vestibule floors at the Spring Garden Underground Subway Station. Septa, Philadelphia Southeastern Transit Authority, commissioned Amdur to design and install six new vestibule floors. There was a public call to artists for proposals, and Amdur was awarded the commission. She proposed to transform 4, 000 square feet of flooring with original large scale paintings that will be embedded into industrial resin.
“I asked myself was it possible to move my studio process into the subway station? Could I create a monumental work of art that had a sense of intimacy? What would it be like to create works that people would walk on day after day? I have made art all of my life. My studio process is labor intensive, and I am known for my attention to detail. I juxtapose images from popular culture, imagery taken from Paint-by-Number kits, with areas left open for interpretation. My work is a question that needs to be answered by the viewer.
When I was developing my proposal I visited the station on many occasions, and asked commuters who was their favorite painter? The vast majority of people said Vincent Van Gogh. Keeping that in mind as well as the name of the station, Spring Garden, I chose to work with floral imagery…more specifically passages taken from a store bought paint-by–number kit of Van Gogh’s Sunflowers.
I have composed a team of three “major league players.” I had to go to Michigan to find two of them. I am fortunate to have found one person who will be doing the digital translation of the drawings onto a special fabric that will be embedded into the floors, and a resin fabricator who will install the actual floors.
There is the notion that an artist is either a pubic artist or a studio artist, and the two are incompatible. I am determined to challenge this notion. I am an intuitive person, and an artist who works directly on the canvas. I start each new series with a concept, and then the work develops organically. Even though commuters will not be able to see the work in it’s entirety, I have painstakingly “visually massaged” each painting, as if it were going to be viewed in a gallery setting. I have made few compromises. In the end it will be interesting to see if my kind of attention to the details in the works is necessary for a monumental project of this scale. Probably not, but it is important to me. Ultimately. I have to answer to myself as well as the public and that is what really matters.
Serving a community of two high schools, two universities, and a historic neighborhood in transition, it is my intention to offer commuters a brief moment of visual delight during their transition from here to there.