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The Underbelly Project

underbelly-project-11 This summer, a revolutionary art project was unveiled – for one night and one night only. It took a collective of guerilla street artists 18 months to create, but most of us will never see it. underbelly-project-1 The Underbelly Project was started in 2009 by two artists with the pseudonyms Workhorse and PAC. Located in a century-old disused subway station under New York City, it's the work of 103 artists from all over the world who were secretly escorted into the dangerous station. underbelly-project-2 The space is the size of a football field but pitch-black and full of twists and turns, dips and bumps. Each artist was allowed in on one night for four hours only to make his or her mark on the station's walls. The works were then unveiled to a select group of people this summer. After the launch party, the 'gallery' was promptly sealed off. underbelly-project-3 One journalist from the New York Times was allowed in, and described the perilous route he took into the dark, underground lair. It 'involves waiting at an active station’s platform until it’s empty, slipping from it into the damp and very dirty no man’s land beyond, and traversing that to get to the old station’s entrance.' underbelly-project-4 The Underbelly Project is being kept under wraps for two reasons. Firstly, it's counterculture at its finest. Art that can't be seen, bought, or ripped off – a hidden treasure box that will become the stuff of urban legend. underbelly-project-6 It's also illegal. The artists took part in the project at their own risk, both physically and legally. In these paranoid times, people ducking into disused subway stations late at night are likely to be treated with far more than just suspicion. underbelly-project-7 Artists who took part include Jim and Tina Darling, Ron English, SwoonFaile, SheOne, and Revok. But not Banksy – the world's best-known guerrilla artist claimed it was too risky even for him. underbelly-project-8 So what happens now to the Underbelly Project? If left alone, it should last for several decades, says its curators. And yes, they do want it left alone. In fact, they warn that it would be dangerous to attempt to find it. underbelly-project-9 'If you go in there and break your neck, nobody’s going to hear you scream,' says Workhorse. 'You’re just going to have to hope that someone is going to find you before you die.' Fair warning. RM underbelly-project-10 Images: Luna Park

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