What counts as an underground artist

Bushwick, New York's burgeoning underground scene

Between the 50s and the early 70s, Greenwich Village was the first trendy district. The West Manhattan area attracted mostly musicians and soon became a meeting place for jazz and folk rock. To the east of Greenwich Village, the East Village emerged as a meeting point for artists a little later. Musicians and artists flocked to the neighborhood, including many Andy Warhol shows took place in the East Village. When rents rose sharply in the "trendy" areas, the art scene moved to SoHo. The many empty industrial buildings in the area offered artists an ideal space for their work. The meeting point for contemporary art moved in the 1980s to the Lower East Side, where there were sometimes over 200 art galleries and studios. One last attempt was made in the 1990s to lure artists to Manhattan despite the high rental prices. Tribeca has hosted numerous initiatives to promote local artists. But even these projects did not last long: Today Tribeca is one of the most expensive areas in New York.

The gentrification in Manhattan took its course, rents rose after a while in every trendy area. Artists kept looking for areas with cheap studios and found themselves on the other side of the East River: in Brooklyn. Above all, the Bushwick district is flourishing. The area in northeast Brooklyn has long been considered an unpopular place to live for many New Yorkers. After the city of New York invested in the neighborhood in the 2000s to reduce crime and improve infrastructure, Bushwick began to flourish. More and more artists moved to the district, which is mainly inhabited by Dominicans and Puerto Ricans. Bushwick is now a hub for artists.