The installations comment on the hundreds of people literally living underground in Bucharest.


Walk around Milan with your eyes glued to your phone and you might find yourself falling into somebody’s blue and white-tiled shower stall. For this strange life experience you could thank local artist Biancoshock, who’s decked out manholes to look like rooms in a pleasantly decorated but microscopic house.

Biancoshock, a practitioner of “ephemeralism” who’s also made a plastic bubble-popping service for bored commuters and a sidewalk station for high fives, isn’t just dabbling in whimsy. The underground lairs he somehow stocked with wallpaper, framed artwork, and even a kitchenette are meant to draw attention to the scores of homeless people in Bucharest who live in tunnels and sewers. Many are said to be ex-residents of Romania’s horrid orphanages who had no safety net when released in 1989. Many also are struggling with addictions and HIV/AIDS, as well as the occasional police raid for alleged drug trafficking.

Biancoshock writes that Bucharest’s subterranean population numbers hover around 600. The message of his Milan intervention, he states, is that if “some problems can not be avoided, [at least] make them comfortable.”


H/t StreetArtNews

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A woman sits inside her store as man walks past a message displayed on a building, reading "0 shots, 0 killed today, in Chicago".

    Forget Broken Windows: Think 'Busy Streets'

    This theory suggests neighborhoods can fight crime by getting locals to clean up and maintain their own public spaces.

  2. Murals depicting David Bowie and Bernie Sanders in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles

    Do Art Scenes Really Lead to Gentrification?

    A new study finds that arts establishments are actually more concentrated in affluent and gentrified—rather than gentrifying—neighborhoods.

  3. POV

    The Gateway Project Doesn't Need Trump's Approval

    The $30 billion rail tunnel project may be a victim of President Trump’s feud with Democrats. But New York and New Jersey could still save it.

  4. A young refugee from Kosovo stands in front of a map of Hungary with her teacher.

    Who Maps the World?

    Too often, men. And money. But a team of OpenStreetMap users is working to draw new cartographic lines, making maps that more accurately—and equitably—reflect our space.

  5. Maps

    America's Loneliest Roads, Mapped

    An interactive map highlights the least traveled routes in the country—and some of the most scenic.