The Underbelly Project: A Hidden Art Exhibition Deep Under New York City

The Underbelly Project: A Hidden Art Exhibition Deep Under New York City

A clandestine street art project was held somewhere in the dark underground of New York City.

Naresh Kumar
  • 2 november 2010

Somewhere in the dark underground of New York City, a very strange art exhibition took place recently-one which didn’t invite any patrons, didn’t entertain collectors and which closed on the same day it launched. The Underbelly Project was the brainchild of two street artists-Workhorse and PAC, who conceptualized this art exhibition two years back and involved more than 100 other artists from around the world in their project. The exhibition was held illegally in an abandoned subway station, where artists showcased their talent on the walls of this dark and damp place, taking utmost care to escape the eyes of the outer world.

A reporter from the New York Times was able to view this incredible project. An excerpt from the article:

…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.

That’s because the exhibition has been mounted, illegally, in a long-abandoned subway station. The dank, cavernous hall feels a lot farther than it actually is from the bright white rooms of Chelsea’s gallery district. Which is more or less the point: This is an art exhibition that goes to extremes to avoid being part of the art world, and even the world in general.

… For this reporter, the most arresting pieces are those that are sinisterly in sync with the Hades-like space, among them skulls, a pair of huge rats and a set of typographical strokes by the British graffiti artist SheOne that resemble the skeletal scratchings of a Lascaux cave painter. There is a certain amount of anarchic sloganeering and sly digs at the corporate-commercial complex. “WE OWN THE NIGHT,” blares one painting on an end wall. Another, by Mr. English, depicts Mickey Mouse on a respirator.

NY Times: “Street Art Way Below the Street”


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