There have been rumors all summer about 5 Pointz being torn down to build residential highrises… so this weekend Ev and I took a mini field trip out to Long Island City to check out this graffiti mecca.
Graffiti veteran, “Meres”, is the gallery curator for 5 Pointz – Institute of Higher Burning. (5 Pointz to signify the 5 New York boroughs, uniting together in art).
Artists come from all over the world to view and paint over the walls and abandoned warehouses on this block. In order to paint, artists submit a work samples in hopes of obtaining a permit and being placed in a mural space. The art stays up for a few weeks to a few years, and are constantly being painted over by new work.
A few businesses are still around on the block, but most of this space has been abandoned and sitting in dust. Apparently all kinds of artists used to work and reside in their studios here, but had to leave since they were all illegally set-up… one heater for the whole floor! (sounds like my old NYC apartment actually..)
The building owner, Jerry Wolkoff, still plans on building a space for artists in the new residential buildings (not for graffiti artists though) . There’s no set date yet on how when they will be tearing this all down… but it sounds like the wheels are in motion – after the City Planning Commission’s unanimous vote last month they have 50 days to get City Council’s approval.
Even if you aren’t into street art and culture, it’s pretty amazing to see the vivid colors, sure strokes and interpretive designs crowding every inch of these buildings. The most fascinating part to me is to see how much care and detail these artists pour into their designs -even though they are all only on temporary display.
It’s a such a shame to see this go — if you are in the NYC area, go check this out soon!