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Monday’s Suggestion (11-08-10)

In Monday's Suggestion, Rich, Street Art, Uncategorized on November 8, 2010 by Two Barbers Tagged: , , , , , ,

The Underbelly Project

Graffiti has always been around, and although the concept of ‘modern graffiti’ can arguably be traced back to the 1920s, it can be said that current graffiti culture developed largely in step with the hip hop and punk rock subcultures of the early 1980s that it is commonly associated with.  For the majority of the roughly three decades since, graffiti has been considered one of the purest niches in terms of embodying the characteristics associated with an artistic counter culture.

photos from weburbanist.com

 

Recently, graffiti has become more accepted, and as a result their has been a mass commercialization of the artform.  As happens when once rebellious cultures are admitted into the mainstream world, it’s edge has in many ways been dulled.

The Underbelly Project was started as a rebellion against this trend.

In 2009, 103 street artists were invited one or two at a time into an abandoned subway station four stories below New York City, and given one night (four hours) to create a piece.  Once the project was completed, the original entrance was removed, and only a select few patrons have been invited to experience it since.

The goal of this project set forth by its founders Workhorse and PAC was to provide artists with a place to create that was “unobstructed by the pressures of commercial sales, email, or daily routines”.  The freedom awarded to the artists has resulted in a largely secret underground exhibit filled with an amazing collection of street art.

Truth be told, ninety-nine percent of the people reading this blog (myself included) stand virtually no shot at experiencing this exhibit firsthand.  Even so, just knowing that it exists, and scouring the art and culture pieces in an effort to complete the experience in your head makes the Underbelly Project something special.

Here are some links about the Underbelly Project that are worth checking out:

The Project’s Webpage

Weburbanist Article

Hyperallergic Article

Wallkandy Review

Rwkstreet Review

NOTE:  As I finished writing this article I got an update from Hyperallergic that the Underbelly Project had been infiltrated and ruined by someone of the opinion it was setting Street Art back.  Rather than re-write the post, I’m going to leave this up because I personally thought it was a very cool idea.  I will write a follow up blog later in the week exploring the reasoning on both sides of the project’s affect on street art culture argument.

-Rich

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One Response to “Monday’s Suggestion (11-08-10)”

  1. […] This is a follow-up to my post yesterday suggesting to check out The Underbelly Project.  You can read the first entry here. […]

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