ART: Narrative of Neighborhood at Stake as 5Pointz Battles to Survive
SAVING 5 POINTZ: THE INSTITUTE OF HIGHER BURNING
While all eyes are glued on Banksy’s next move during the elusive UK street artist’s self-proclaimed residency in New York City, the fate of 5Pointz hangs in the balance. Considered the world’s premiere graffiti mecca, efforts are underway to save what has become a recognized cultural landmark from being condemned.
Veteran and emerging artists contribute gallery quality works of art here. Once-bleak factory warehouse walls have been transformed into a massive canvas of intricately detailed portraits, (master)pieces and vibrant mural-scale productions.
I got a chance to hang with 5Pointz founder and curator Meres One last night at the famed outdoor aerosol art exhibition space in Long Island City, NY. What a true sense of purpose. Meres, in no unquestionable terms, has made this place something worth investing time, energy and money to preserve. Rain or shine, a special “Rep Your Style” event will be from 2-7 p.m. today (Oct. 6).
5 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT 5POINTZ
- The name signifies New York’s five boroughs coming together as one but, because of its reputation as an epicenter of the graffiti scene, the industrial complex has united aerosol artists from around the world.
- Legendary writers from Japan, France, Canada, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Russia, the UK, Brazil and the US have painted here, including Stay High 149, Tracy 168, Cope2, Part, SEN2 and TATS Cru.
- 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 complex at Jackson Avenue and Davis Street, formerly the Phun Phactory, into a graffiti art museum.
- Meres also plans to open a school for aspiring aerosol artists, complete with a formalized curriculum that imparts lessons in teamwork, art history and entrepreneurship, in addition to technique.
- You can still get involved to save 5Pointz by making every voice count.
Most of us know New York’s a shell of its gritty self, overrun by Starbucks, luxury condo rentals (priced out of the realm of affordability) and slick mixed-use spaces devoid of real character. The story is playing out on every corner of the city from uptown in Harlem to the over saturated Brooklyn hipster enclave, Williamsburg. Nothing against progress, but at some point, people must take a stand for the irreplaceable. Watch Meres at work on his 7 angle illustration in the following time-lapse.