It’s hard not to be obsessed by the parts of a city most law-abiding citizens never see: views from the top of its tallest towers and inside its underground tunnels.
In New York–based artist Logan Hicks’s latest photography series, we get a glimpse at the latter, an underground world typically only visited by graffiti artists and transit workers.
Though his main work involves stencil painting, rather than photography, Hicks loves exploring urban infrastructure, taking a peek into what makes a city tick. “A lot of it’s about examining what’s under the surface,” he tells Co.Design of his latest work, which he’s premiering next month at a pop-up exhibition titled Love Never Saved Anything in New York City.
There are plenty of challenges that come along with this type of urban exploration, whether it’s wandering the underground tunnels of Los Angeles, Paris, or rush-hour New York City. In Paris, for example, he was arrested as he waited for his camera to finish a 30-second exposure capturing a dark Metro train. He spent the night in jail, and his memory cards were confiscated. (He did manage to recover some footage from the event.) He’s encountered police, bats, and naked men smoking crack in his journeys underground.
That craziness, really, is the appeal of the whole experience. “There’s just a huge rush of going places where you shouldn’t be,” he says. He’s compelled by what results from not only trying to shoot a decent photo, but trying to do so in near-pitch blackness, having infiltrated a space he’s not allowed to be in. “What interests me is doing something worth looking at in spite of the challenges,” as he puts it. And the rest of us can just live vicariously through his thrills.