Article by: Christina Lazarakis
When I first moved to New York, straight out of acting conservatory, I would take the “A” Train up to Washington Heights and get off at 181st Street. By New York City subway standards, it was a long trip.
Six more still-in-The-City-moves-in-less-than-two-years later, I would take the very same train in the opposite direction, to my last apartment before I left The City for Seattle – a hole-in-the-wall fifth floor walk-up in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. This almost always involved a transfer and — as the train was headed down Manhattan and out to Brooklyn — it always also meant a trip under the East River.
Somehow, even though it was technically a shorter trip, knowing that I was travelling underwater made it seem longer, and I inevitably always made it out the “other side”.
Artist Stephen Mallon’s subway cars do not.
Next Stop Atlantic is Mallon’s all-at-once strange, fascinating, and enigmatic photographic perspective on what actually happens to New York City subway trains when they are retired.
He captures their not-so-widely-known end-of-life trip, as they are transported and then heaved overboard to begin their new lives as artificial reefs at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. In this series, Mallon does so in such a way that spawns in the viewer many more questions than answers, and makes us witness to something so eerily majestic, and to that which so few ever get a chance to see. We should all be so lucky.
His subway cars never make it out the “other side” like I did, but their last stop is perhaps an even more extraordinary one — as they now get to support a whole new life, under the sea.
For more of the photographic genius of Stephen Mallon, go here!
Christina Lazarakis is a freelance writer and creator of the brand new blog, Small Kitchen Chronicles. She has been an artist and performer her entire life. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, Christopher, and is thrilled to be writing for Give Us Art! Go Art!