Thursday, 4 November 2010

The Underbelly Project: the best urban art you will never see

Somewhere under Manhattan, in a subway station that has never been used and no one will ever find is one of the most secretive exhibitions of street art ever to grace a wall.

For the past summer the urban artists of the world have been working among the rats and the damp on pieces that only their fellow collaborators have ever seen with their own eyes and the art money machine will never get its hands on.

The Underbelly project is the brainchild of two New York graffiti artists, Workhorse and PAC, who have escorted more than 100 fellow artists to the underground space and waited patiently for them to create their masterpieces by the light of industrial worklamps before bringing them back out again.

Those to have descended into the darkness have included Ron English, Lucy McLaughlan, Swoon, Faile and The London Police.

The resulting display shines out through the gloom like a light at the end of a tunnel, ready to put the fear of God into any subterranean explorer who chances to stumble across it.

Not that I have seen it of course. Only a handful of people know of the exhbition's existence, not least its location. And now the last artist has done his thing, Workhorse and PAC have destroyed the entrance, sealing the whole place up like a Pharoah's tomb of urban masterpieces.

One day, in some post apocalyptic New York, people with torches on their heads will discover the Underbelly project and try to work out what it means.

The pictures on this page are courtesy of and Vandalog, where you will find a lot more images of the exhibition. There is also a website dedicated to the project here.

There is a full feature on the project in the Sunday Times of October 31, but in keeping with the theme not many people will read it because you'll have to pay £1. Here's the link, just in case.
 Art: Know Hope                                                                           Pic: Luna Park
Art: Momo                                                                                   Pic: Luna Park
Art: The London Police; Swoon; Imminent Disaster                    Pic: Luna Park
Art: Jeff Soto                                                                                Pic: Luna Park

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