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5 Pointz Image 5
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5 Pointz: was a vibrant 200,000 square foot landmark located at 45-46 Davis Street in Long Island City, Queens. Over the last decade, this Graffiti Mecca has evolved into a sanctuary for aerosol artists and appreciators all around the world. The block-long outdoor gallery welcomes artists to use it as a canvas, music video directors and filmmakers to use it as a backdrop, and urban art lovers to take photos and appreciate its brilliance.
In 1971, Gerald Wolkoff purchased this once dilapidated and abandoned building, and in support of the artistic community, offered aspiring artists cheap studio rentals within the developed complex. Wolkoff and a partner founded a program called The Graffiti Terminators in the early 1990's, which aimed to support local artists in exhibiting their work on Phun Phactory (the original name of 5 Pointz), while discouraging illegal or dangerous tagging. However, the Phun didn't last long, as the project was eventually terminated due to lack of participation.
Jonathan Cohen, the curator of 5 Pointz and the artist behind the light bulb expressions, transformed the building in 2001 into the ever-changing outdoor art exhibit it is today. Many hip-hop and soul artists, such as Mobb Deep, Doug E. Fresh and Joss Stone have shown admiration by using the exhibit for their music videos or projects. Cohen, otherwise known are Meres One, is a passionate artist who finds it essential to make a distinction between illegalized graffiti and the aerosol art displayed on this five-story landmark. The negative connotation attached to this art form is caused by vandals who damage property and lack respect for this artistic expression. Cohen believes that graffiti is a label for writers who vandalize. Aerosol art takes hours and days.
Meres' goal was to develop this attraction into an official art museum to be validated and appreciated like Manhattan's Museum of Modern Art. However, current owner David Wolkoff has a different fate in mind for the building he claims it is beyond repair, to tear it down and build a two million square foot condo-development which will serve as a great location for young people and empty nesters who can't afford Manhattan. Wolkoff wants to focus on the progression of the neighborhood, which he believes has the potential to be the next Downtown Brooklyn.
Although Wolkoff assures the public the building is going to have some link to the past, meaning that there will be art programmed throughout the walkway of the building, there will be art walls, some aerosol artists are convinced that the demolition of the outdoor gallery would enforce the negative view on this art form. Cohen responded to this proposal by starting an online petition called Show Ur Love to 5 Pointz in an attempt to preserve it. However, it hasow been torn down.
May 3rd, 2013
Viewed 67 Times - Last Visitor from San Francisco, CA on 11/20/2014 at 11:06 AM
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