News

5Pointz Protest Re-buffed

by Mostafa Heddaya on November 21, 2013

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(all photographs by Tiernan Morgan for Hyperallergic)

Yesterday’s defiant response to Tuesday’s 5Pointz whitewashing was re-buffed (and rebuffed) overnight, as the back-and-forth continues between members of the 5Pointz community and property owners Jerry and David Wolkoff of G&M Realty.

The renewed efforts to whitewash the structure ahead of the demolition have been understood by some observers as a purely optical move — demolishing the building with decades of art on it might be in poor taste — while the 5Pointz team sees it as an attempt to prevent the building from attaining landmark status, something they had been working on before the first whitewashingOthers have rightly pointed out that the stripping of potentially historic architectural details is a standard developer practice during pre-demolition stages. The Wolkoffs plan to redevelop the site into a two-tower residential complex, though they have made provisions for 12,000 square feet of artists’ studios and claim they will designate some exterior walls to graffiti.

The loss of the iconic Long Island City complex is undoubtedly a sad occasion, but some members of the 5Pointz community have expressed their loss in disproportionate terms:

Last night’s round of whitewashing encompassed the iconic wall that displays the personal tags of the 5Pointz team (including curator Jonathan “Meres One” Cohen), which is now half erased. The tags and other forms of visual protest sprayed yesterday have all been covered up or removed as well.

When Hyperallergic visited the scene this morning, the paint was still wet, floor-bound gobs of it glistening in the early sun.
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