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The Art-Vandal Underground

from The New York Times

A Chronicler of the Art-Vandal Underground

Piotr Redlinski for The New York Times

Mr. Seelie, center with camera, shooting Lightning Bolt, a punk band, in April.


In the windy darkness of a recent spring morning, 30 people of an arty, mostly Brooklynite persuasion gathered after midnight for an illicit get-together in a maintenance shed, high atop the Williamsburg Bridge. Billed as the “Third-Annual NYC Undercover, You-Might-Be-Arrested, Clandestine Errantry Trespassing Adventure Party,” the event attracted members of a distinct, risk-taking subset of the New York art world — heights-loving writers, courageous painters, a devil-may-care guitarist, a guy lugging bongos and the Williamsburg photographer, Tod Seelie — all of whom had been quietly invited to the late-night affair by its pseudonymous organizers, Agent Verde and Agent Rojo.

After scrambling over a 10-foot-high security fence, the partygoers climbed a steel staircase — the lights of Manhattan glimmering below — as part of a vertiginous, invigorating trip that culminated in a catwalk, a ladder and finally a narrow hatchway, leading up to a low-ceilinged room of riveted metal plates. There, for more than an hour, the group made music and unauthorized public art. Light was provided by votive candles and flashlights. Mr. Seelie, a bald man sporting tattoos and a Fu Manchu mustache, camera at his eye, stood taking pictures in the middle of the room.

“When a trip takes this much effort,” he said, “there’s usually something worthwhile at the end.”

[ click to continue reading at the New York Times ]

Posted on June 6, 2011 by Editor

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