Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Public Art Tragedy

Early Tuesday painters covered the walls of 5Pointz and, as a result, erased the work of hundreds of graffiti artists. This act could be considered meta-vandalism in some senses, as the graffiti artists were, ostensibly, vandalizing the buildings themselves through their work. 

The owner, Jeffrey Wolkoff, purchased the buildings in 1971 and, after leasing the space to a music industry firm, rented studios to artists for a few hundred dollars a month. He was asked, by a person who removes graffiti from walls in the city, if his painters could use these walls as canvases. Wolkoff agreed and, over time, gave them more and more space. In 2002, a graffiti artist named Meres One took the endeavor over, becoming its curator and christening it 5Pointz.

Art alum, Angie, at 5Pointz, this past summer.
Tourists and art enthusiasts from all over the world come to 5Pointz.

This public art tragedy — which was looming over the past year, really—even caused Banksy to come to action.

Banksy's inflatable installation was a call to save a famous 5Pointz. “This is a sideways take on the ubiquitous spray-painted bubble lettering that actually floats...It’s an homage of sorts to the most prevalent form of graffiti in the city that invented it for a modern era . Or it's another Banksy piece that’s full of hot air.” Within hours, the latest piece was in the back of a police van, as captured on Instagram (above).

What's next? Razing the buildings and putting in condominiums.


K. said...

There was just a piece on NPR about this. I missed most of it but the little bit I did hear was really interesting.

Jason said...

Sad to see such amazing works destroyed...