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Street Art > The Underbelly Project

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message 1: by Heather (new)

Heather The Underbelly Project



Works by 103 street artists from around the world, were mounted illegally in a long-abandoned New York City subway station this summer.


message 2: by Heather (new)

Heather

Jasper Rees writes: "Known to its creators and participating artists as the Underbelly Project, the space, where all the show’s artworks remain, defies every norm of the gallery scene."


message 3: by Heather (new)

Heather

"Abandoned stations like this — and there are a fair number of them in the city — are irresistible to those who search out hidden spaces in the city, despite or perhaps because of the fact that being there is illegal and potentially dangerous."

A work by Chabasm.



message 4: by Heather (new)

Heather

"Collectors can’t buy the art. The public can’t see it. And the only people with a chance of stumbling across it are the urban explorers who prowl the city’s hidden infrastructure or employees of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority."


message 5: by Heather (new)

Heather

"The show's curators, street artists themselves, unveiled the project for a single night, leading this reporter on a two-and-a-half hour tour. Determined to protect their secrecy, they offered the tour on condition that no details that might help identify the site be published, not even a description of the equipment they used to get in and out. And since they were (and remain) seriously concerned about the threat of prosecution, they agreed only to the use of street-artist pseudonyms."


message 6: by Heather (new)

Heather

"Workhorse, in his late 30s, is a well-known street artist with gallery representation; PAC, younger by a decade, is less established but familiar (under a different name) to followers of urban-art blogs."

Lister, an Australian artist, painted part of a face.



message 7: by Heather (new)

Heather

Workhorse said: “There is a certain type of person that the urban art movement has bred that enjoys the adventure as much as the art. Where else do you see a creative person risking themselves legally, financially, physically and creatively?"

A piece by She Kills He.



message 8: by Heather (new)

Heather

Among the American contributors were Ron English, Swoon and Revok.

Detail of a work by Swoon.



message 9: by Heather (new)

Heather

"Since bringing artists in and out of the space required careful planning — by now they had figured out that the active platform was emptiest on late nights early in the week — and since one or both of the curators had to be on hand, Workhorse and PAC set strict schedules and limited each artist to one visit, with four hours of working time. The artists were not allowed to go out for more materials if they ran out."

Kid Zoom at work.



message 10: by Heather (new)

Heather

The Underbelly Project contains some sloganeering artworks, like this one by the Los Angeles artist Revok.


message 11: by Heather (new)

Heather

"But Workhorse said: 'There is a certain type of person that the urban art movement has bred that enjoys the adventure as much as the art. Where else do you see a creative person risking themselves legally, financially, physically and creatively?'"


message 12: by Heather (new)

Heather

"Patrick McNeil, of the Brooklyn collective Faile, received an e-mail from PAC, and signed on quickly.

"'It was really appealing because it sounded a little crazy,' he said. 'You did it because you wanted to do it, not because there was any money.'"

A zigzag flag by Faile.



message 13: by Heather (new)

Heather

"The Metropolitan Transit Authority would occasionally shut down the nearby subway line. The artists, working through the night, would hear workers on the tracks and go silent, turning out any lights."

A view of works by Emile Souris and Jeff Soto.



message 14: by Heather (last edited Jul 15, 2020 04:02PM) (new)

Heather

"'We're not under the illusion that no one will ever see it,' Workhorse said. 'But what we are trying to do is to discourage it as much as possible.'

"He stressed that any self-styled explorer who found the site and attempted to enter it would be taking a real risk.

"'If you go in there and break your neck, nobody's going to hear you scream,' he said — at least assuming there are no track workers around. 'You’re just going to have to hope that someone is going to find you before you die.'"

Bigfoot used a ladder to work on a piece.


https://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/201...


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