Underbelly Project – public art made private

I was initially dazzled by the photographs but upon reading the story, got completely turned off by the idea. The Underbelly project — a group of artists find an abandoned NYC subway station, invite their friends all over the world to sneak in, make art for a few hours and leave. The story hypes the danger aspect. No one can hear you scream. (Very very scary) The result, a bunch of art in a place no one can see…. For me, public art is about the public intersection, the life the work takes on because of the eyes on the street. Considering New York City’s long, proud and radical history of subway art, where the graffiti artists took creative and real risks, the Underbelly Project feels like a group of wannabees, hopelessly clubbish, and dead on arrival.

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