I hate to end #graffitiweek on a sad note but I also want my blog to be a place where art can live on, much like my documented ghost signs. I received a series of pictures of 5Pointz taken several months ago from Craig Hazan. The significance of these pictures only hit this week when I read this article on Tuesday (please take the time to click through the pictures–the before and after pictures are heartbreaking). For those of you that aren’t familiar, 5Pointz is an outdoor exhibit space in Queens, NY. It’s 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-footfactory building. They have been using this space since the early 1990s. The complex is across Jackson Avenue from MoMA PS1 but is not associated with MoMA. It is privately owned by Long Island developer Jerry Wolkoff, and houses the Crane Street Studios in which 200 artists pay below market rents for studio space (via Wikipedia).
The developers hired workers to paint over the graffiti in the dead of night on November 19, 2013. Artists and representatives of 5 Pointz have been in a brutal battle to save the building, which the owner, Jerry Wolkoff, wants to knock down in order to develop high rise apartment buildings. The artists have argued that the building should be saved by the city as a historic landmark.
I’m so happy that Craig sent me these pictures and they can live on forever here. If you have any pictures from 5Pointz you’d like included in this blog post, please tweet them to me @nikki_vz or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll add them to this post.