5Pointz is an outdoor art exhibit space in Long Island City, New York, considered to be the world’s premiere “graffiti Mecca,” where aerosol artists from around the globe paint colorful pieces on the walls of a 200,000-square-foot factory building.
The name 5Pointz signifies the five boroughs coming together as one but, because of its reputation as an epicenter of the graffiti scene, the industrial complex has actually united aerosol artists from across the world. Legendary writers from Canada, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Japan, Brazil, and all over the United States have painted on the building walls, including Stay High 149, Tracy 168, Cope2, Part, and Tats Cru.
Over the past decade, the striking, graffiti-covered warehouse has attracted several hip-hop and R&B stars, including Doug E. Fresh, Kurtis Blow, Grandmaster Kaz, Mobb Deep, Rahzel, DJ JS-1, Boot Camp Clik, Joan Jett, and Joss Stone.
On any given day, 5Pointz visitors can expect to find prominent artists, musicians, deejays, Emcees (rappers), and B-boys (break dancers) on site, in addition to filmmakers, photographers, and entire tour buses full of admirers soaking in the more than 350 Technicolor murals.
The gallery curator is graffiti veteran Jonathan Cohen, best known by his signature tag, “Meres One.” His goal is to convert the five-story, block-long industrial complex at Jackson Avenue and Davis Street, formerly the Phun Phactory, into a graffiti art museum.
The building’s owners, Jerry Wolkoff and his son David, have already received approval for plans to redevelop the property into two residential towers. They want to have demolition completed by the end of the year. A federal judge has refused to grant an injunction that would have stopped the planned demolition of the 5Pointz graffiti mecca in Long Island City. Meres and his organization are appealing and applying for landmark status for the building.
Eileen and I visited 5Pointz over the weekend as we wanted to get some images before the wrecking ball strikes. Turns out we ran into the rally to save 5Pointz. Below are some of the images from the rally. Tomorrow I’ll post some of the graffiti that will be destroyed if the building is torn down.
(Reminder: Click on any image to begin slide show!)