Friday, October 29, 2010
Note: Please see my full gallery of photos here.
I recently showed my posting, Unconditional Love, to a coworker* who commented, "Do you know that building in Long Island City, Queens with all the graffiti?" To which I replied, "What building?" A search brought up the building in question immediately. 5 Pointz.
I visited on a Sunday morning virtually alone. I was told by the manager of the property that I was fortunate because tour buses frequently make the a visit, bringing massive crowds. Painters were already on the scene, however, at various locations.
I was astounded by the work, brilliant color and mammoth size. All the surfaces of the block long, 200,000-square-foot (19,000 m2) factory building complex, are covered. The building itself is owned by Long Island real estate developer Gerald Wolkoff, who sanctions the work.
The property was the vision of Jonathan Cohen, aka Meresone. Originally Phun Factory, the property is now known as 5 Pointz: “The Institute of Higher Burnin’ ”
In chatting with the manager, he made an important and valid distinction between graffiti and what is being done here, echoed by Cohen: ''Graffiti is a label for writers who vandalize. Aerosol art takes hours and days. It's a form of calligraphy.'' Signature tagging is typically unsanctioned. What goes on at 5 Pointz goes through an approval process. New work goes over old. The length of time a piece stays up is at the discretion of the managers, with considerations for quality of work and time in creation. From the 5 Poinz website:
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.
5 Pointz is also in use as a location for work by photographers, filmmakers, musicians and artists. See my gallery of photos here. If you want to see the last word in aerosol art in a New York City industrial setting, take a trip to 5 Pointz :)
* Thanks to Naomi D for making me aware of 5 Pointz!