This weeks Graffiti Friday is kind of a sad one for me, recently one of my favorite places the "Freedom Tunnel" was painted clean. Buffed. The tunnel has a deep rooted history in NYC's graffiti history. "Freedom" started painting this Amtrack tunnel on the upper West side in the late 80's. At that time it also was considered a safe haven for homeless people.
Freedom knew this place was special, he painted a lot of the time for homeless people that lived in the tunnel, some said it gave them hope. My first time in this beautiful place was a couple years after this film was made, "DARK DAYS" This movie is a in depth documentary about the people that lived in this tunnel for years. They do not mention Freedom but chances are they know of or know him. Also check out the book "Mole People" for a even more in depth perspective of a outsider exploring the tunnel.
Since then a lot of people have found this tunnel not to many people live in it anymore, people think it has been abused and blown up and that's why it was painted over.
These are some photos of Freedoms work in the tunnel and a couple images of artist that he brought down there and ones that followed after that I took on my first trip.
There will be more coming so stay tuned,As always click on photo to enjoy full size.
This was the first image I saw of freedoms work, I was 12 and blown away.
These are examples of his earlier work.
Even by todays standards this is amazing, Freedom was really ahead of his time and a great artist!
Freedom became close friends with writers who liked to explore the city, Smith and Sane were brothers and great kings of this. This was painted for SANE'S passing. RIP
Classic ESPO Philly hand
AMAZE was in the mix
DYRECT also climbed a lot in the rafters of this tunnel, after 9/11 he painted this.
CURVE from Philly showing how big rats are in this tunnel, track rabbits is a common phrase. They really are larger than a small dog.
All good things must come to a end some say. I am just sad to see this one go... For those who have been, you know. If you have never been, I hope I can provide a perspective into this multi cultural safe haven.
Be sure to check out the book "MOLE PEOPLE" and the film "DARK DAYS."