Two artists found an abandoned subway station somewhere in New York City and came with the idea of curating a secret project called The Underbelly Project. A highly guarded and perhaps illegal project with over 100 street artists involved creating an art gallery in one of the darkest areas of the city.
No body knows who these artists are, and where this place is. The only way to recognize these artists is through their pseudo names, and the ones who started this whole thing are: Workhorse and PAC who came up with this idea in 2008.
Last year this bizarre and one-of-a-kind art gallery which is closed for the public and out-of-reach for art collectors was unveiled for a single night...rather for two and a half hours. Like some Hollywood movie, a reporter (Luna Park) was allowed inside, under the condition that in no circumstances what-so-ever can the location of this place be revealed or even the painstaking effort that it takes to get into this place.
"Stepping into the station was like stepping into a space outside of time. Utterly devoid of light, there was no way to mark the passage of time except for the occasional dull roar of a train in the distance. I had only a flashlight to light my way, yet it only barely cut into the inky blackness of the station. The air was cool and damp. My every step kicked up swirls of the rail dust t hat blanketed every surface. If it hadn't been for the reassuring presence of familiar art adorning walls, I might have quickly succumb to the illusion that I'd arrived amidst the remnants of a forgotten city."
According to a spokesperson for New York City Transit, such an act is considered as trespassing and thereby punishable by law. But I guess this is the exact high that lured more than 100 artists to be a part of this project.
"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?" shares Workhorse with the New York Times.
And PAC says that, "We do want to preserve the kind of sacred quality of the place, but we also want people to know it exists. And we want it to become part of the folklore of the urban art scene."
The Underbelly Project website is still under construction, and it is not clear as to when the entire site will be rolled out. This is what the website has to say:
"For 100 years, a massive subway station sat unfinished, unused, undiscovered. Over the course the last year, artists have been secretly escorted into that station to leave their creative mark. Unobstructed by the pressures of commercial sales, email, or daily routines, each artist painted for one full night. The original entrance has been removed and darkness has reclaimed the station. It has become an elusive pirate treasure of contemporary art."