The $4.5 billion first phase of the Second Avenue Subway will open on January 1, 2017, and besides having a new way to get to the Upper East Side, for just $2.75, you can see some exciting new art from Chuck Close, Vik Muniz, Jean Shin and Sarah Sze at the four stations.

Governor Andrew Cuomo officially presented what his office calls the "largest public art installation in NY history" (the artists were selected years ago) this morning at the Museum of Modern Art. "The Second Avenue subway provides New Yorkers with a museum underground and honors our legacy of building engineering marvels that elevate the human experience," Cuomo said. "Public works projects are not just about function—they’re an expression of who we are and what we believe. Any child who has never walked into a museum or an art gallery can walk the streets of New York and be exposed to art and education simply by being a New Yorker. That is where we came from and that is what makes New York special."

"There’s no doubt that the launch of these new stations represents an historic expansion of the system. But it also represents a major milestone in terms of culture— the work of these four incredibly talented artists will provide a source of enjoyment, inspiration and beauty to both customers and visitors for decades to come," said MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast.

Here are descriptions of the works:

At 96th Street, “Blueprint for a Landscape” by Sarah Sze profoundly impacts the look of the station as her imagery is applied directly to nearly 4300 unique porcelain wall tiles, spanning approximately 14,000 square feet. The designs feature familiar objects - sheets of paper, scaffolding, birds, trees, and foliage - caught up in a whirlwind velocity that picks up speed and intensity as the composition unfolds throughout the station with references to energy fields and wind patterns. Each entrance features a different shade of blue and a blueprint-style vector line design, a visual theme that is integrated with the architecture.

At 86th Street, Chuck Close in “Subway Portraits” has created twelve large-scale works that are based on the artist’s painstakingly detailed photo-based portrait paintings. His various painting techniques have been interpreted in ten works as mosaic, and in two as ceramic tile. The artworks measure close to nine feet high and are placed on the walls at the station entrances and the mezzanine concourse. The people portrayed are cultural figures that have frequently been his subjects, including Philip Glass, Zhang Huan, Kara Walker, Alex Katz, Cecily Brown, Cindy Sherman, and Lou Reed, as well as two distinct self-portrait.

At 72nd Street, Vik Muniz’s installation, “Perfect Strangers” features more than three dozen characters created in mosaic and installed throughout the mezzanine and entrance areas, populating the station with colorful images of all types of New Yorkers. The main station entrance features an etched glass canopy at street level depicting a flock of birds, bringing art and nature to the busy location. Within the expanse of the mezzanine concourse, the life size figures provide bursts of color and visual interest and an opportunity for new discovery with every trip through the station.

At 63rd Street, Jean Shin’s installation, “Elevated” uses archival photographs of the 2nd and 3rd Avenue Elevated train to create compositions in ceramic tile, glass mosaic, and laminated glass. The imagery is manipulated and re-configured and each station level provides a unique focus, palette and material. At the escalator, the view is filled with ceramic tile depicting construction beams and the cranes that dismantled the El in the 1940s. At the mezzanine, a mosaic reveals the sky where the train had previously been present, and features images of people from the era in this neighborhood transformation. The platform level features semi-transparent and reflective materials showing vintage scenes of the neighborhood, while enabling contemporary viewers to see themselves in the cityscape of the past.

The Second Avenue Subway will open at noon on January 1st.