Art: "The Underbelly Project"
Well, this is something you don't see every day, an underground artshow closed to art critics, art dealers, auction-house representatives, and the public, according to author and art critic Jasper Rees in "Street Art Way Below the Street" (New York Times, October 31, 2010). Even the artists are unknown, or known only by pseudonyms:
That’s because the exhibition has been mounted, illegally, in a long-abandoned subway station . . . . The show's curators, street artists themselves, unveiled the project for a single night, leading this reporter on a two-and-a-half hour tour. Determined to protect their secrecy, they offered the tour on condition that no details that might help identify the site be published, not even a description of the equipment they used to get in and out. And since they were (and remain) seriously concerned about the threat of prosecution, they agreed only to the use of street-artist pseudonyms.Prosecution for what?
[T]he legal risks were obvious. Charles F. Seaton, a spokesman for New York City Transit, described such incursions as "trespassing, punishable by law," and said "anyone caught defacing M.T.A. [Metropolitan Transportation Authority] property is subject to arrest and fine." Beyond that, [the two artists] Workhorse and PAC [who organized the project] worried that given anxiety about terrorism in the subway, a large-scale, long-term project like theirs might even lead to more serious charges.Okay, I see why the artists want to protect their identities, but what about the writer, Mr. Jasper Rees, and his two-hour tour! Isn't that also trespassing? Why is he not worried about punishment? Grey Lady immunity? Or is he out of the country, back in merry old England? Don't we have an extradition treaty with the Brits?
While we consider that conundrum, let's ease our mind's eye by clicking over to "The Underbelly Project" itself, or for a slide show courtesy of the New York Times, or for a webpage of images courtesy of the LTV Squad.
Of course, we'll be crossing a line . . . and may be arrested by the images.