ART: Despite Whitewashed Walls, Legacy of 5Pointz Can’t Be Erased

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UNDERGOUND UNDER ATTACK

Pardon my stream of consciousness writing, but sometimes the moment calls for it. Got up this morning, caught the train from the Bronx and went straight to 5 Pointz after hearing about the unscrupulous whitewash by property owners. Didn’t know what to expect as the 7 pulled into the Court Square station, but I knew I couldn’t sit on my hands and do nada, so took a cupla hundred shots (photo gallery coming soon).

For me and many others, this is not just another brick in the wall … NOT. The damage is done, yet clearly it doesn’t seem to matter that NYC’s underground is under attack. According to news reports, the Wolkoffs ordered the overnight paint job at this sprawling internationally-recognized graffiti mecca to spare artists the pain of watching it come down, piece by piece. Yeah, right.

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“The fact that they destroyed the art before they razed the building, it’s a really big slap in the face,” Eric Felisbret, an expert on street art and the author of Graffiti New York, told the New York Times. “So many people put so much passion and energy into it.” Though there are other spots in New York City where graffiti artists could legally work, Felisbret said, “There’s nothing that was as large and that big of a draw internationally” as 5Pointz.

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Whether you realize this or not and choose to dumb down the reality or just be numb, what’s happening crosses racial, gender, socioeconomic and cultural lines. But, from what I witnessed today, 5Pointz is not going down in silence; our voices matter. In just a few hours there, I met film crews from France, news teams from Tokyo, B-boys and artists and a bright group of students from the Bronx with their teacher and artist, Anthony Rubino.

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I’m not seeking fame or fortune from any of this, but I’m fed up with the disregard for underground art culture, especially in New York City. Sure, there are those who say graffiti is illegal and an unnecessary eyesore. In my eyes, the Real Vandals are people who do nothing and remain immobilized by corporate corruption and greed and envy. The Real Vandals are those with limited vision, those who think small, those who block a better future for everyone, not just the 1 percent (remember Occupy’s message). The Real Vandals are callous business people and slick parasites who steal our soulfulness while benefiting from the blood, sweat and tears … all the hard work and passion of true creators.

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More coverage and commentary to come. Until then, speak out and do something that matters.

Recommended:

5 POINTZ: http://5ptz.com/

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