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Manny Vega/Un Artista Con Alma January 13, 2009

Posted by leskanturek in Artists, Guest Visits, Public art.
Tags: , , , ,

As you step off the train at 110th Street and Lexington in the NYC subway, you find yourself face to face with the art of Manny Vega. four panels, each approximately four feet high depicting scenes of life in the barrio lovingly, painstakingly crafted in mosaics. Un Sabado en la Ciento Diez (A Saturday on 110th Street). Manny took some time out to stop by class this last spring semester to talk about his work, and the process of creating art for the subway and the public. Manny is a self taught craftsman but also an obvious sponge for any knowledge of his craft. In terms of the 110th st. commission I was struck by the relatively short time frame it took him to accomplish such a laborious process. Months versus what I assumed would be a minimum 2 year process with execution and installation.

img_24(Above) 110th street station (6 train) 2 of 4 mosaics , Un Sabado en la Ciento Diez (A Saturday on 110th Street)

A characteristic of Manny that comes out when he speaks and that is also evident in all his meticulously crafted work is Corazón, passion, and a commitment to truly public art. Manny spoke about, what he felt was was his responsibility to represent the community that his work was appearing in. Manny spoke about working on the Portrait of Julia de Burgos mosaic in a storefront and having people in the community stop in and take part in placing tiles. The mural was completed in Oct. 2006

juliadeburgos_01(Above) Portrait of Julia de Burgos. East 106 Street between Lexington and Third Ave. Julia de Burgos was a Puerto Rican poet and civil rights activist who died at 39 in 1953.

(left) Mosaic El Rey Del Pollo at El Malecon Restaurant

Photos by Librado Romero of Manny and his work and audio of Manny speaking about his mosaics and philosophy.

(please note. this is an older post spring 2008 which was reposted – thanks Les)


1. Love Thy Neighbor – Julia de Burgos | across106thstreet - May 1, 2011

[…] you walk Spanish Harlem, you are never too far from poet Julia de Burgos (1917-1953). From Manny Vega’s tile mural of her at 106th Street (between Lexington and 3rd Ave.), to the EHBCC banners with her […]

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