Art Exhibit Pops Up in Abandoned Level of Nevins Street Subway Station in Brooklyn

Nevins Street-Abandoned Platform-Art Gallery-Show-Exhibit-Phil America-Subway Station-Brooklyn-NYCPhoto by Phil America

“Getting into this exclusive art gallery could literally kill you,” proclaims the headline of the New York Post article on a guerrilla art exhibit by Phil America located in the abandoned level of the Nevins Street subway station in Brooklyn. Curbed New York got the scoop first with an interview with Phil America, who says the police are already investigating the installation. For us, this is particularly exciting because photographs of the lower level of Nevins Street have been difficult to come by, until now.

Nevins Street-Abandoned Platform-Art Gallery-Show-Exhibit-Phil America-Subway Station-Brooklyn-NYC-4Photo by Phil America

What we’ve known about this level is that the ornamented staircase railings on the active level lead down to an underpass traversed by straphangers daily. In this hallway are doors that allegedly lead out to the abandoned platform, though locked door was not the means of access for Phil America. In the interview with Curbed NY, America explains that “whoever did the installation of the artwork,” would need to “time the trains going both ways perfectly and run in the tunnel on the live tracks between trains, avoiding the deadly electric third rail.”

The New York Post further explains that people will only be able to access this illicit gallery by “sprinting along live tracks,” from the Hoyt Street subway station, something we definitely do not recommend. America also tells the Post that the platform is so rarely traversed there is no graffiti on the walls. 

Nevins Street-Abandoned Platform-Art Gallery-Show-Exhibit-Phil America-Subway Station-Brooklyn-NYC-3Photo by Phil America

The artwork itself is a series of 10 flags, which each represent mass shootings in America from Columbine to Sandy Hook to San Bernadino. The location “makes things more exclusive,” America says, “For me, it’s about doing good work, not showing in the spaces that already exist.” The exhibit brings to brings to mind the Underbelly Project, a collective street art gallery below South 4th Street in Williamsburg in an abandoned station of the IND subway line.

Nevins Street-Abandoned Platform-Art Gallery-Show-Exhibit-Phil America-Subway Station-Brooklyn-NYC-2Photo by Phil America

Nevins Street-Abandoned Platform-Art Gallery-Show-Exhibit-Phil America-Subway Station-Brooklyn-NYC-6Photo by Phil America

America, who describes himself as an artist, writer and activist is also the author of the books Above The Law Volume I: Graffiti on Passenger Trains and Our Side of the Tracks. He has also been a speaker at TED conferences numerous times.

Nevins Street-Abandoned Platform-Art Gallery-Show-Exhibit-Phil America-Subway Station-Brooklyn-NYC-5Photo by Phil America

Nevins Street-Abandoned Platform-Art Gallery-Show-Exhibit-Phil America-Subway Station-Brooklyn-NYC-7Photo by Phil America

Next, check out 20 of NYC’s abandoned subway stations, platforms and levels. Also discover why the Nevins Street subway station was once in Soho

 Brooklyn, Nevins Street Subway Station, Phil America, subway

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