I don’t know about you, but I am a HUGE fan of graffiti! Ever since I spotted the graffiti of protest on Israel’s “Security Wall” in Bethlehem, I really began to understand just how powerful this form of art can be!
Lately, New York City has been on a graffiti craze, with the famous British street artist Banksy setting up a monthlong residency in the City in October 2013 and producing a new work of art daily and sharing them on his Instagram page. One month later, not much of his work remains, but he also left a good luck message for 5Pointz, NYC’s embattled graffiti mecca that was fighting for its life.
An old warehouse in Long Island City (Queens), 5Pointz Aerosol Art Center, so named to be the center of the five boroughs, became quite the destination for free artwork in NYC. There was a problem though. The warehouse was in such a state of disrepair that it was no longer safe for occupancy and the only feasible solution for the landlord was to tear it down and build some shiny new condo buildings that seem to be popping up all over the place.
The artists had been fighting to somehow get the building preserved. Landmark status was denied and everyone knew that the next thing was a wrecking ball. But nobody knew exactly when that would happen. Early January, the rumor mill declared. I visited in mid-November and the very next day was horrified to learn that in the dark of night, 5Pointz was gone… Whitewashed under police protection. The building still stands (for now), but the art is gone. Sure, “street art is meant to be transient,” as my friend reminded me, but this was a travesty that everyone knew was eventually coming!
5Pointz was spectacular though, and I want to share some photos of the amazing work that once stood there. Enjoy!
RIP 5Pointz. You will be sorely missed!