Photographs of the recently completed luxury development at the former site of the 5Pointz graffiti murals in Long Island City, Queens, show how a local monument to graffiti art has been unrecognizably transformed. The updated style of the drab, gray residential behemoth is increasingly plaguing neighborhoods across New York City.
In November 2013, two decades’ worth of elaborate murals by such legendary street artists as Blade and Lady Pink were illegally whitewashed overnight at the request of developer Jerry Wolkoff of G&M Realty. Nine of the artists sued Wolkoff for failing to give notice and preventing them from documenting or preserving their work prior to the building’s demolition. In 2018, a federal court ruled that Wolkoff violated the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990 (VARA) and awarded $6.7 million in damages to 21 artists at the site in a precedent-setting decision to protect aerosol art.
The high-rise residential towers at 22-44 Jackson Avenue feature more than 1,100 apartments ranging in price from about $2,500 to over $6,000 a month, excluding prime penthouses, and 337 “affordable” housing units — although only households making at least $63,000 are eligible to apply for them, according to Patch.
The development’s website boasts “near-countless amenities,” including an indoor pool and basketball court, a gaming room, a co-working space, and a sky lounge that will “allow you to create the life of your dreams.” These various rooms are adorned by monotonous rows of paintings of the ubiquitous “hotel lobby” genre and a bland selection of mid-century-meh furniture. Fortunately, the condos’ planners seem to have scrapped their tacky idea of filling the space with graffiti-inspired artwork in a paltry homage to the 5Pointz artists whose work it destroyed.
Artist Minouk Lim wants to offer a very different perspective on how one might deal with a grim history whose effects continue to be felt in the present.
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Organizers, artists, and land practitioners are holding public events at Iglesias Garden in a hub space supported by the Climate Justice Initiative, a project of Mural Arts Philadelphia.
The artist’s style blends aesthetic and cultural elements from Ghana, London, and New York’s graffiti scenes.
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Jo Sandman / TRACES opens with a reception for the artist on June 3 at Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center in Asheville, North Carolina.
Authorities say Jean-Luc Martinez helped facilitate the Louvre’s purchase of objects illegally pillaged during the Arab Spring.
The suspects attempted to take a Basquiat artwork valued at $45,000 from Taglialatella Galleries but instead made off with a half-empty bottle of whiskey.
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Eiffel inadvertently paints its protagonist not as a great man worthy of scrutiny or praise, but as the Elon Musk of his day.