The Underbelly Project: The aftermath, one week in

Surge. Photo by RJ

It’s barely been one week since The Underbelly Project was revealed across the web and in print. In my first post about the project, I wrote:

When the last artist finished painting the last wall, Workhorse and PAC made access to The Underbelly Project nearly impossible by removing the entrance. Even if any of us wanted to go back (and I do), even if we could remember how to get there (and I don’t), we can’t. Nobody can. For now, The Underbelly Project has become a time capsule of street art, somewhere in the depths of New York City.

Well I guess getting to the station wasn’t made as difficult as had been expected, because it took less than a day for the station’s location to hit the web and for people to attempt to gain access themselves. Naturally, some of the first people to reach the station were haters with paint in hand. They splashed some of the paintings and knocked over sculptures. So much for the station becoming a time capsule of street art. Here’s some of the damage:

Photo by paulbesteves

That’s street art and graffiti. It goes away. Maybe it was naive of me to think that The Underbelly Project would be any different.

But not everybody trying to visit the station has been successful. Apparently, a number of reddit users have been arrested by NYPD for trying to access the station and spent the night in jail. I hope I don’t sound like asshole by saying “I saw this amazing thing in person, now you should see it in photographs,” but that’s exactly what I’m going to suggest to anybody thinking about visiting The Underbelly Project. Especially anytime soon. It’s just going to be a honeypot for police with cops stationed there most nights to make easy arrests. And, more importantly, it’s dangerous. The LTV Squad, a team of NY urban explorers, explains:

Don’t go into NYC subway tunnels. It’s bad idea. Tunnels are confined spaces where injury and death are readily possible. The photos of this project are all over the internet. People continue to send us these photos. They are not hard to find. If you want to see the art, do so from your own home.

Photos by RJ Rushmore and paulbesteves