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5Pointz – The (ex)Mecca of Graffiti

5Pointz
Source: Morello archive

If you’re really into the beauty of what aerosol art can be you probably know about this place in Long Island City, Queens called 5Pointz. If not, you’re missing out…or at least you were…as of a few nights ago it has been whitewashed.

5Pointz was a place that was a controlled environment for artists to paint without having to run from cops and without the usual egos associated with graffiti. This was a place where artists from all over the world could take their time on a section of a wall and put up something that tourist from all over would come to see and take tours of the grounds. When I visited a few years back I was amazed by these pieces that were painted, I couldn’t believe some of the things I was seeing, the precision and attention to detail; I had no idea that art like this could come out of an aerosol can.

The people who ran 5Points always knew the owner of the property would eventually want to use it for something else, there was always the fear of the building being knocked down and being turned into a couple of high-rise apartments. As bad as things are right now for those who run 5Pointz, things may be looking up. After just about all of the walls have been painted over in white, a federal judge ruled that some local artists might be owed some money for the damages. Good for the artists, but in the end, the owner can do whatever he wants with his building. However, the whiteout could have been handled better, it shouldn’t have been done over night with a surprise to many.

Check out this short(ish) documentary that I was a part of back when I was in school about 5Pointz.

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