Man’s photos highlight artwork hidden beneath Albuquerque


As the city strives to revitalize the art scene, few know that there are miles and miles of artwork hidden beneath our city.

One man is hoping to highlight these pieces of artwork through his own photographs. 

“Some of these are pretty amazing, the artwork they put up here,” said Alex Marentes, a photographer with Buggs’ Photography.

He calls it the “Underworld.”

Reporter: “You’d rather be alone in here?” 

Marentes: “Yes.” 

Reporter: “Does it give some sort of solitude?” 

Marentes: “It does in a way. It’s nice and quiet. You’re away from the world. You’re underneath.” 

It’s a quiet escape for Marentes, who has an interest and eye for graffiti. However, he says this isn’t the graffiti that may come to mind for many.

“People always look at these things and they think gang. But I think most are just taggers that come and tag and want to put their art. To them that’s what it is,” said Marentes.

Colorful paint and even inspirational quotes, fill some of Albuquerque’s dark and creepy tunnels.

“You see messages about life, things that have a meaning of some kind,” said Marentes.

Marentes has walked through 15 tunnels in Albuquerque and Rio Rancho, photographing what he calls unique pieces of artwork.

Since starting his “Underworld” project on Facebook, his photos are catching a lot of attention. So far, hundreds of visitors seem mesmerized by what he’s seen first-hand.

“They’ve gotten a lot of interest. Other people are always asking me if they can come along. Everyone wants to look at the tunnels,” said Marentes.

Marentes says he’s even getting tips about other tunnels tagged by artists, who leave their mark but rarely their name.

As of right now, Marentes doesn’t have any plans to create an exhibit or sell these photos. His only hope is to bring attention to the unknown, hiding beneath our cities.

While Marentes says people ask to join him, he says he discourages others, especially children, to venture into the cities tunnels. 

You can see Marentes’ photos on his Facebook by clicking here.

You can see his other work by clicking here.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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