I read in the NY Times this past week, that the extraordinary 5Pointz building in Queens, the Graffiti Mecca of Long Island City, will be torn down to make way for a hi-rise apartment building. This week the property owner began by painting over the mind blowing graffiti art that completely covers every square in of this building, amidst the sad moans and sighs of the artists who created this one-of-a-kind representation of urban aerosol art. Below is my farewell eulogy to 5Points and a small selection of photos I have taken over the years whenever I was in the neighborhood.
A brick and mortar canvas enveloped in an explosion of brilliantly crafted graffiti art that dominated the neighborhood landscape with vibrant energy infused aliens. These beings climbed the walls and fire escapes, crawled across the roof, camouflaged windows and doors, giving a second life to an old factory, long retired from industrial duty.
These artworks, not satisfied with staying on the walls, ventured forth out on to the streets spreading over the sidewalks, curbs and fire-hydrants. Their colors poured through fences like light through cracks. They screamed out at the #7 train causing all heads to turn in obeisance toward this urban art Mecca and pay homage to the artists, their creators.
The walls of 5Pointz were alive with a world of vivid colorful comic book sex, youth’s anger and violence, love and laughter. Now those walls are covered, the building wrapped in a winding-sheet of white paint, the aerosol beings silent waiting to be buried among the memories and resurrected in photos that might grace the walls of a museum like so many mummies of the ancient past.