Showing posts with label 5Pointz. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 5Pointz. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Graffiti Haven 5Pointz Will Be Demolished

courtesy of
Long Island City, Queens, NY

My heart is heavy. I just caught wind of the news that the beloved graffiti mecca 5Pointz will be demolished by year end. I turned on my laptop to find an explosion of this information on Facebook. I tell you as an artist I am truly devastated and deeply saddened to hear this horrible news.

5Pointz: The Institute of Higher Burnin'  was an American outdoor art exhibit space in Long Island City in Queens, New York. It was considered to be the world's premiere "graffiti mecca," where aerosol artists from around the globe painted colorful pieces on the walls of a 200,000 square-foot factory building. I had the pleasure of walking the complex in it's entirely two years ago. My friend Perry, a graffiti artist and intern there at the time, gave me the grand tour.  The building was a spectacle of awe-inspiring art work. I mean, the concepts behind each piece was truly amazing. The building was a grand colorful fixture of the L.I.C skyline, dazzling and inspiring the eyes on the 7 train line. For the past 20 years, graffiti artists have been allowed to use the building as a canvas. 5Pointz has been featured in various movies and music videos with the most recent appearance in the film Now You See Me. 

The building will be demolished to make way for luxury condos.  The $400 million redevelopment project will include a new public park, over 50,000 square feet of retail space and a 250 space public parking garage. The Daily News reports the redevelopment plan - spearheaded by the owners of the site Jerry Wolkoff and his son David was approved overwhelming by City Council in October.

courtesy of Daily News
TimeOut New York reported on November 19, 2013 that the 5Pointz building was painted white overnight by the owner.  The owner stated that the whitewashing was not done maliciously.
He said the overnight paint job was done in an effort to avoid confrontation. According to the CBS New York Wolkoff said, “I can just picture the building coming down one piece at a time. It would be torture for me and it would torture for them. It’s like a Band-Aid, I just felt, one shot.”
courtesy of Daily News

 I understand and support what he did. Can you imagine the deep internal pain felt by the artist to witness their hard work being demolished by a wrecking ball. Each brick that was covered with a precise art piece just knocked down and thrown away like garbage. To even write this statement hurts my heart.

I know money needs to be made in life. However, why does money always have to trump the beautiful and the necessaries like art houses, hospitals, schools. 5Pointz fan Christopher Calderhead said. “It’s the death of a real cultural institution in the city and there doesn’t seem to be any room for this kind of art anymore.” (excerpt from CBS New York). I agree with him.

Long Island City is a growing area that is becoming more attractive and trendier each year. L.I.C is notable for its rapid and ongoing gentrification, its waterfront parks and thriving communities. With ample public transportation, the 59 street bridge and the Queens midtown tunnel in close proximity and Manhattan a hop stop away, I suppose it was time to jump on the money train and take the building into a profitable future.

Well, best of luck to the owners. To all the artists around the world who contributed to the majestic 5Pointz I say thank you for your magnificent works. It was a phenomenal ride while it lasted.

courtesy of Daily News