Times Square

In 1977, Alex Katz was asked to create a work to be produced in billboard format above Times Square, New York City. The work, which was located at 42nd Street and 7th Avenue, consisted of a frieze composed of 23 portrait heads of women. Each portrait measured twenty feet high, and was based on a study Katz did from life. The billboard extended 247 feet long along two sides of the RKO General building and wrapped in thee tiers above on a 60-foot tower. Three months of work went into the preliminary cartoon and maquette and the physical painting was done by sign painters, primarily painter Jerry Johnson, under Katz’s supervision. Johnson painted wet paint into wet paint, as Katz would paint in his studio.
Alex Katz Times Square Mural, 1977