After the excitement of a month long Banksy residency, New York now has to settle for its own graffiti artists and go over to Long Island City in Queens to get its fix. There’s an empty warehouse opposite MOMA PS1, the Long Island City outpost of the Museum of Modern Art, and it’s covered in graffiti. At first glance you may think it’s all a bit of a mess and says something about how much people care about this area, but actually it’s all very organised and the graffiti artists have been using this building as a canvas for decades. The 5pointz website tells us:
“5Pointz Aerosol Art Center, Inc. is an outdoor art exhibit space in Long Island City, New York, considered to be the world’s premiere “graffiti Mecca,” where aerosol artists from around the globe paint colorful pieces on the walls of a 200,000-square-foot factory building.”
Constantly under the threat of demolition, 5pointz continues to argue (even in the courts with some help from Banksy himself) that this is art, this is somewhere that should be protected. Unfortunately the gentrification of Long Island City is creeping and with the enormous Citi building nearby and the renovated Court Square subway station making this a surprisingly accessible stop on the 7 line, the price of real estate is growing. Putting up an apartment building to replace the graffiti strewn building is going to make someone a lot of cash and there’ll come a point soon when the fight will be over.
So here are some of my pictures so that you can see what the fuss is all about. Make the most of them, they may be some of the last to adorn the building.