Destruction of Graffiti Mecca 5Pointz Is Underway
A backhoe began tearing down a wall at graffiti mecca 5Pointz early this morning, Animal reports. The building complex that has served as a canvas for street artists to practice their craft, legally, lost a battle at the end of last year to prevent its destruction to make way for a new residential development. They will be replaced by beige-colored condo towers.
This past November, when the property owner Gerald Wolkoff began whitewashing the spray-painted buildings, artists banned together in an effort to get an injunction and obtain landmark status for the site to prevent its destruction. Their plan failed.
5Pointz was born around 2002, when Wolkoff and street artist Jonathan Cohen, known in the art world as Meres One, came to an agreement whereby Cohen, acting as a kind of curator, would select and invite aerosol artists of his choosing to paint the walls of the building, which was home to several commercial businesses. Wolkoff’s goal was to replace the “distasteful” graffiti that was already covering the walls of the building with a more skillful and attractive array that would serve to beautify the building and, by extension, the area. But Wolkoff asserted it was made clear that the work would only be temporary until the buildings were demolished.
In response to their application for an injunction, the New York district court, while noting that the site had become a known public attraction, also recognized the “transient nature” of the work and determined there was a lot of evidence demonstrating that Cohen, whose images of drunken light bulbs had become some of the most well-known work at the site, was well aware the buildings, and the art on them, would one day come down.
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