Is it still art if no one can see it?
That’s one of the philosophical questions posed by the Underbelly Project, where graffiti artists collaborated to decorate an inaccessible subway platform hidden beneath New York City.
Getting there involved crossing over hot third rails and risking arrest. The organizers have kept the location a secret. After the artists finished their work, they closed it off again, and at the moment no one from the general public can get back down there.
Luckily the artists took some photos, so we can see the art from the comfort of our computers.
The notion of inaccessible art isn’t new. Many of the painted caves of Lascaux and Altamira were never easy to get to. Some of the Taino carvings I’ve seen in caves in Puerto Rico involve an underground traverse over a mile and swimming across underground lakes. And many ancient cultures with a belief in the eyes of spirits have created elaborate painted tombs, sealed off to the living.
Previously: Camuy Cave Exploration.
Read and see more about the Underbelly Project at the following links:
Second Avenue Sagas
Street Spot Blog
New York Times