Created by artists Kristin Jones & Andrew Ginzel, Oculus and Metronome are two of the most interesting works of public art in New York City. Oculus is a massive project that includes over 300 glass and stone mosaics, located inside the Chambers Street/World Trade Center Subway Station. Most of the mosaics are depictions of the human eye, peering out from the tiled walls and modeled after a photographic study on the faces of hundreds of New Yorkers. The most impressive part of Oculus is an oval map of the world with a gilded eye at the center, set against a deep blue sea. This part of the mural has inspired many people to speculate about what influenced the artists and the true meaning of the piece.
In Union Square, Metronome is another great example of Jones & Ginzel’s work. The cost of the project was over $4 million, making it one of the most expensive privately commissioned public artworks in the world. The piece takes up the majority of the façade of the One Union Square South building. The installation features a brick wall with ripples emanating from a gilded center, adorned with a sculpted bronze hand. Under the hand, steam is released to mark the passage of time. Jones & Ginzel also included an enormous LED clock, known as The Passage, which tells time in both 24 hour format and by marking the remaining time in the day. Although it was not well received by the public, Metronome has become a quintessential landmark in Union Square. Oculus: Subway Entrance at Church Street & Murray Street; Manhattan; Metronome: One Union Square, Manhattan. http://www.jonesginzel.com/