The National Trust for Historic Preservation has been cataloging some of the oldest graffiti in American history. Sometimes eerie, these scrawlings and carvings in old buildings are the predecessors of today’s graffiti artists. Instead of tagging with aerosol cans, they used anything they could find–even their own blood–to spread their message.
We were preparing this article about the 5 Pointz Rally for publishing yesterday when the news first broke that the building had been whitewashed in the middle of the night. This piece was originally meant to be a narrative of the rally on November 16, when hundreds of people gathered at 5 Pointz Art Center in Long Island City to show support for the beloved graffiti exhibition space. This article has been revised as a tribute to 5 Pointz and their fight for survival.
5 Pointz, the largest legal aerosol art exhibit in the US is a cultural gem slated to be destroyed – but the artists won’t go down without a fight. Last week, the City Council approved the plans for two enormous residential towers, for which the iconic 5 Pointz building will be demolished. The approval was heartbreaking yet unsurprising news to artists and fans alike. But the next morning, 5 Pointz filed a lawsuit to prevent developers from tearing down the building.
5 Pointz loading dock, and the labyrinth in the parking lot.
Last week, the iconic 5 Pointz Art Center in Long Island City lost another battle in its fight for survival. On August 21, 2013, the New York City Planning Commission unanimously voted to approve development plans for two high-rise residential towers, for which the 5 Pointz building will be demolished. The City Council now has 50 days to approve the Planning Commission’s decision. If the Council does not hand down a decision the project is considered approved. Meanwhile, 5 Pointz advocates continue their petition campaign to have the location landmarked, and are planning a rally.
This enormous mural on the side of the Mark Morris Dance Center near the Brooklyn Academy of Music showcases Barry McGee’s eye for vibrant colors and patterns. McGee, who was commissioned to create this mural by BAM, Vanity Fair and Cadillac, often depicts the tools of the trade, like spray paint cans, tagged signs, and more. Although he has a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute, he began his career as a graffiti artist in San Francisco in the late ’80s, where he focused on making politically engaged street art. (more…)
Last week we went up to the 90th floor of 1 WTC and inside the Calatrava Transportation Hub with our Google Glass. It was awesome, but one thing we wanted to show separately was the fun graffiti from the construction workers that’s all over the support walls. There were manifestos, signatures, philosophical inquiries, and even a Garfield. Most will likely be painted over, but will some be uncovered decades later when the building gets fixed?