Intolerants Redux: Street Art + Graffiti at ‘5 Pointz’ in NYC
If you have mad love for street art and graffiti, it’s impossible to walk around this bustling metropolis and not come across several beautiful murals, tags and paste-ups. Yes, there’s plenty of tagging that is seemingly done without purpose or cause, but there’s also a lot of amazing work, some with a message and others not so much. Pieces that are just there: winking on the wall and basking in all their artistic glory.
One particular hotspot for street art in NYC is the 5 Pointz: Institute of Higher Burnin’. An outdoor art exhibit, the former factory space in Queens, New York was converted by graffiti veteran Jonathan Cohen (“Meres One”) to enable artists from around the world to paint/spray/stroke their work on any of the factory’s walls (there’s 200,000 sq ft of space available).
Considered by many “in the know” to be the world’s one and only mecca for graffiti and street art, 5Pointz is touted as the place where New York’s five boroughs come together. It’s the unofficial headquarters for graffiti artists not only in NYC, but around the world. According to their site: “legendary writers from Canada, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Japan, Brazil, and all over the United States have painted on the building walls, including Stay High 149, Tracy 168, Cope2, Part, and Tats Cru.”
Whether you like graffiti or not, it’s an impressive space, and there are bound to be sections of wall that will blow you away. In addition, to “curating” the space, Cohen had plans to open a school for aspiring aerosol artists and include courses that would delve into art history, technique, collaborative efforts and entrepreneurship. Unfortunately, a local relator had other plans and recently received approval to demolish 5Pointz and build residential high-rises in its place.
So with that in mind, if there ever was a must see space for street art in the big city, this is it.
Get there before it’s gone.