Beneath The Streets: The Hidden Relics of New York’s Subway System is a new book out by JURNE and Matt Litwack that explores New York’s underground through the artistic lens of a graffiti writer. We caught a couple moments of the co-authors time to find out more about the book and life below the city that never sleeps.
How did the idea for Beneath the Streets come about?
Matt Litwack: During my high school days, I would explore the NYC subway tunnels. I became fascinated with the graffiti, the history, and the general danger of the underground. JURNE and I wanted to create a book that was able to examine the subway system from a sociological, historical, and artistic perspective. We wanted people to be able to see what it’s like for graffiti artists to explore these environments.
Jurne: We’ve been drawn to these hidden or tucked-away city environments for nearly 2 decades, exploring and painting them. The New York City subway tunnel system is one of the most expansive and oldest public transportation systems in the world. With that comes a lot of history, and a lot of potential stories to tell about experiences inside the subway tunnels. There’s a tradition of folklore or story telling that goes hand in hand with graffiti writing. Capturing this story of the New York city subway tunnels, exploration, and graffiti writing inside them was something that Matt and I talked about doing for a long time.
Can you describe your first journey underground into the subway tunnels?
Jurne: I remember stepping off the platform into the dark tunnel, and feeling like I was crossing a threshold into a dangerous place, with dim red light illuminating the 3rd rail, and the slow hiss of air coming from pipes over head. It was pretty terrifying. I was immediately fascinated.
Matt Litwack: The first time I ventured underground was with a much older, established and experienced individual. I was fortunate to have someone with such knowledge show me the ropes. Regardless, I was still terrified and didn’t know what to expect or what I might encounter.
A quick flip through Larry Clark’s new 184 page softcover book with Japanese label Wacko Maria.
A look through the sold-out first edition zine published by Nieves and Innen
This self-published book by CLOWN TITS Crew features 86 pages of style inspiration.
This little book of Keichi Tanaami’s vibrant surrealist drawings is a nice thing to have lying around, available to flip through when you want to get ‘weird’. Co-Published by Nieves and CaRTe bLaNChe.
Reading Rainbow’s New Theme Song with LeVar Burton
Nieves just published a new Raymond Pettibon zine. You can purchase it here
FriendsWithYou’s new extensive monograph from Rizzoli features contributions by Pharrell Williams, Alejandro Jodorowsky and Peter Doroshenko. It’s a delightful look into the group’s history and artwork from their formation in 2002 until the present. This Thursday is the New York book launch, which takes place at the PK Shop and accompanies the release of their latest artist edition, Little Cloud.
The wrinkles in this new publication from Mikael Kennedy are not intentional, I foolishly left the once-pristine 32-page, 9″ x 14″ zine full of beautiful landscapes on my dining room table next to an open window and an empty bottle of red wine. It rained that night, and this is the unfortunate effect of humidity on newsprint. You could say that this zine now has a “well-traveled” look to it, and that would be great, because starting tomorrow night, Mikael and his wife, Folk-Singer Melaena Cadiz begin their month long tour across America. Celebrating the joint release of their respective album + photo collection—both titled “Deep Below Heaven”—the duo’s first stop is at the Westerlind Showroom in Nolita for a performance accompanied by photo-projections. Stop by at 7pm and wish them well on their journey through the heartland.
More information on Deep Blue Heaven here
A collaborative zine between GIANT and JOKER that was published by The Skullz Press back in 2001.
We picked up a rare copy of Eric Elms’ 2011 zine featuring “a collection of images cut from old NBA posters highlighting the fans staring in unison at the slam dunks” when we visited his studio last week.
A look through Peter Sutherland’s 2007 book featuring photographs of deer in Colorado, California, Utah, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington, Vermont and New Zealand between 2002 and 2007.
A rare book from 1984 featuring beautiful photographs by Suomi LaValle taken from his exploration of the traditional hash-making regions of the world.
A new photo book surrounding Evel Knieval’s 1972 trip to Cooperville, Oklahoma.
Available through Done to Death Publications
While not as dirty as one might expect, this small book presents a glimpse into the mind of David Choe through a “black and white collection of drawings, sketches, writing and ephemera.”
Published by Giant Robot and available here
This introduction to the work of Ai Weiwei was published in conjunction with his wonderful US retrospective, which luckily enough opens at the Brooklyn Museum this Friday, April 18th.