Journeying Through NYC’s Subterranean Maze

 

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.

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Contemporary Bicycle Art

A look through Joyride, presented by Ed Spurr and Brendt Barbur in celebration of the 14th edition of the Bicycle Film Festival. The group show featuring Ai Weiwei, Rita Ackermann, Tim Barber, Frank Benson, Lizzi Bougatsos, Julia Chiang, Francesco Clemente, Peter Coffin, Dan Colen, Thomas Eggerer, Urs Fischer, Leo Fitzpatrick, Rainer Ganahl, Andrew Guenther, Marc Hundley, Alex Katz, KAWS, Graham Macbeth, Ari Marcopoulos, Jonathan Monk, Jason Nocito, Laura Owens, Eli Ping, Richard Prince, Tom Sachs, Aurel Schmidt, Kiki Smith, Devin Troy Strother, Spencer Sweeney, John Tremblay, and B. Wurtz is on view at Marlborough Broome Street through August 3, 2014

The Story Behind NYC’s Clean Trains

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A nice listen from 99% Invisible

via, kottke

Art This Week in New York

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From bicycles to Afrika Bambaataa, there’s a lot to see in NYC.

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Skating Through the NYC Subway System

This section from Colin Read’s skate film TENGU: God of Mischief is perfect.

Workin’ It on the Westside

Daytime hooking in Manhattan in the 1980s. Photos by Steven Siegel

The Most Radioactive Place in New York City

Openings & Parties: Larry Clark’s Retrospective at Luhring Augustine

Photos by Christos Katsiaouni

Art This Week in New York

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Eventually we’ll broaden this to LA, and then the world. But for now, standout shows in New York City.
 
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Artist Eats: Robert Otto Epstein

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For this installment of “Artist Eats,” we asked Robert Otto Epstein to share his favorite place to eat. Robert is an artist based in New York City, who is currently showing work in a group exhibition at Mulherin + Pollard, and will have a solo exhibition at Matteawan Gallery in July. Continue reading for his answer.

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Neanderthal Jeans

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Eddie Martinez opens up a show of brilliant new paintings and sculptures tonight on the Upper East Side at Half Gallery.

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2 Coasts, 2 Weeks of Burger Madness

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Bicoastal gluttons rejoice, for eleven days straight you can feast on delicious burgers without having to explain yourself to anybody. Out in LA, The Oinkster’s much-loved Burger Week began yesterday with The Cheesesteak Burger of Philadelphia and continues through Sunday (6/8), culminating with a burger called the “Lucy Goosey.” The following day in New York, Shake Shack celebrates a “Decade of Shack” featuring 5 days of burger collaborations with Daniel Boulud, David Chang, Andrew Zimmern, Daniel Humm, and April Bloomfield. All the juicy bits to get your mouth watering, below.

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