42 St-Bryant Park (B/D/F/M)


Xan Padrón
Photo lightboxes in a station environment exhibiting colorful serial photographs of people walking by the same wall.
"Time-Lapse" (2023) by Xan Padrón at 42 St-Bryant Park station. Photo: MTA Arts & Design.

About the project

The 42 St-Bryant Park station features an exhibition of photographs from Xan Padrón’s Time-Lapse series. Seven images celebrate the richness of life and the people who inhabit it in simple moments all throughout the city. To develop the artwork, the artist takes photographs of people passing in front of a unique wall over a period of two hours. Through digital manipulation, the colorful vignettes create a portrait of a distinct day and place. The artist has used this approach to create photographs of cities worldwide, including London, Beijing, Sydney, Trinidad, Berlin, Paris, and Medellín.

At 42 St-Bryant Park, the exhibition focuses on images from the series taken in Manhattan. Quotidien moments from Chinatown, Hudson River Park, the Flatiron District, Tribeca, Midtown, Greenwich Village and the West Village, are represented in a film-strip-like arrangement, implying motion and narrative. A color field is derived from a repeating background, and a repetition of form draws the eye to details that provide context to the images, such as the presence of masks during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic or speckles of water during a rainy day. Combining a street photography approach with a sensibility rooted in modern art, Padrón’s Time-Lapse documents the small, collective gestures of daily life in the ecosystem of a city.

The exhibition is generously sponsored by Duggal and Kodak Professional.

About the Artist

Xan Padrón (born 1969 in Galicia, Spain) is a Galician photographer, musician, and composer. The son of an old-school journalist, Xan Padrón grew up used to being the silent observer who sees things quietly and finds stories everywhere. He received his first camera at the age of 13 from his Godfather, Enrique Reza, who was a photojournalist.

Formerly a professional touring musician, Xan Padrón travelled the world with his bass and his camera and pursued a career documenting performances and artists. Xan Padrón’s fascination with time and movement, coupled with an uncanny ability to disappear behind the lens, unnoticed by his subjects, brought him to the realization of how much life happens even at the most seemingly insignificant location of a city.

His work has been exhibited at the United Nations Headquarters in New York and he has also exhibited in Spain, Canada, and Israel. His photographs have been published worldwide in books, newspapers, magazines, concert programs, posters, and album covers. Xan Padrón splits his time between Galicia and New York City, and lives and works with his wife: musician, composer, writer, and educator Cristina Pato.