04/07/14 10:00am
Detail of a painting by Meres One

Detail of a painting by Meres One, who was curator and resident artist at 5 Pointz.

The iconic 5 Pointz building in Long Island City may have been painted over, but the artists can’t be silenced.  In the Whitewash show at the Jeffrey Leder Gallery, members of the graffiti collective have voiced their thoughts and feelings after discovering that the beloved art center had been suddenly whitewashed overnight.

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02/10/14 12:00pm

Casshius Fouler-NYC-Navy Yard-Pandemic-Street Art-Graffiti-Cash4-Christopher Inoa

Living in New York City, there are many opportunities to go see Graffiti/Street Art openings. Every week there seem to be 100 different galleries having openings in NYC, and sometimes it is difficult to pick which one to go to and Instagram your heart out. This weekend the choice was obvious, as Pandemic Gallery had their second show since moving from Williamsburg to a warehouse by the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

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02/03/14 4:00pm

FUTURA 2000, in front of a site specific painting done for the exhibition.
Chris “Daze” Ellis, in front of a site specific painting done for the exhibition

The Museum of City of New York’s upcoming City as Canvas: Graffiti Art from the Martin Wong Collection, is the first exhibition of the 1970s and ’80s graffiti art amassed by artist and pioneering collector Martin Wong. The exhibition, which opens Tuesday February 4, features important paintings and “black book” drawings by some of the earliest graffiti artists in New York City, including DONDI, DAZE, FUTURA 2000, Keith Haring, LA2, LADY PINK, LEE,  SHARP, ZEPHYR, and many more.  We had a chance to preview the exhibit and meet some of the artists.

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01/24/14 12:00pm

East Village Street Art Murals Gregoire Alessandrini NYCEast Village, 1990s

In 1990s New York City, photographer Gregoire Alessandrini documented the streets of the city through his eyes as a young film student and writer. His photos of the Meatpacking DistrictTimes SquareCelebrities, Coney Island and iconic diners of the 1990s have previously been featured in our Vintage Photo column. In his newest post, he presents photos of murals and graffiti in different neighborhoods of the city, giving us a glimpse into the street art of the time. An interesting pattern is how prominently some of the large brands like Coca Cola, Quick, Newport Cigarettes figured in street art, whether commissioned or spontaneous.

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01/21/14 11:00am

Lady Pink, Death of Graffiti, acrylic on masonite, 1982.

The Museum of City of New York’s upcoming City as Canvas: Graffiti Art from the Martin Wong Collection, is the first exhibition of the 1970s and ’80s graffiti art amassed by artist and pioneering collector Martin Wong. The exhibition features important paintings and “black book” drawings by some of the earliest graffiti artists in New York City, including DONDI, DAZE, FUTURA 2000, Keith Haring, LA2,  LADY PINK, LEE,  SHARP, ZEPHYR, and many more.  We recently had a chance to chat with Sean Corcoran, who curated the upcoming exhibition.

Untapped Cities: Tell us a little bit about the artwork in the exhibit.

Sean Corcoran: The exhibition will have about 130 objects from the collection. There will be a combination of works on canvas, works on paper, blackbook drawings, photographs and other media. There is even a painting on a refrigerator door by an artist named Quik!

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01/03/14 11:00am

With the whitewashing of 5Pointz in November, the curators are looking towards the future. While many hope that 5Pointz will rebuild elsewhere, one small consolation is that the artists at the graffiti mecca have taken back to the streets of New York. Curator Meres One has been making new pieces in Nolita and Astoria. “We have lost a building but we can’t be stopped–free art for the people!!” a 5Pointz tweet proclaimed on December 23rd.

Here at Untapped Cities, we’ve rounded up 5 other graffiti hotspots in New York City to take in street art while 5Pointz goes through this period of transition.

1. Welling Court, Queens

Welling-Court-Queens-Graffiti-Street-Art-Ad-Hoc-Art

A project by the arts group Ad Hoc Art, it is interesting to note that the stunning murals at Welling Court came about because the neighborhood’s community was looking for ways “to spruce up the neighborhood” in 2009, and street art was the option they chose. The diversity and eclectic nature of this neighborhood has been reflected in the brilliant and absolutely unique works of art that are now showcased here. In the four years that Ad Hoc Art has been working here, more than 58 artists from around the world have left their mark in this Western Astoria locality.

2. East Harlem Graffiti Hall of Fame

Long before the whitewashing of 5Pointz, communities in New York City took a stand to preserve and encourage street art.  One of the best examples of this can be found in East Harlem at The Graffiti Hall of Fame in the playground of the Jackie Robinson Educational Complex. Founded in 1980 by a local community activist, the purpose of The Graffiti Hall of Fame was to give graffiti artists a permanent place to hone their skills in a safe and open environment.  It has evolved to become an internationally known destination for the Who’s Who in graffiti, and this past July they celebrated their 30th anniversary in grand style.

3. Hunts Point Murals, Bronx

Hunts Point Mural-Graffiti-Street Art-BronxHunts Point Mural, click to enlarge. Image by Dasic Fernandez

The 200 foot long mural along a warehouse on Drake Street has become a graffiti mecca, run by  TATS Cru. According to The New York Times, the owner of the building asked the street art crew to “recruit good artists to keep the bad artists (or just scribbling vandals) at bay.”

4. The Bushwick Collective, Brooklyn

Bushwick is one of NYC’s major street art hubs, with an outdoor art gallery known as the Bushwick Collective. Over the past two years, Joe Ficalora, a Bushwick native, has taken the lead as the Bushwick Collective’s curator. Ficalora told the New York Times that commissioning these murals is a way to help him reclaim a neighborhood full of painful memories, including his father’s murder in 1991 and his mother’s recent death. He simply began googling street artists and inviting them to come paint. Business owners donate their wall space and the artists contribute their time and pay for their own supplies.

Today there are over fifty murals lining the buildings on Troutman Street and that number is constantly growing. We’re taking you on a street art tour beginning on Jefferson Street, up Wyckoff Avenue and continuing on Troutman Street towards Saint Nicholas Avenue.

5. Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Street Art-Williamsburg Brooklyn-Bedford Avneue-Graffiti

Williamsbug might have gotten all trendy over the last decade, but its roots in the street art scene are still alive. Walk along Bedford and peer onto the intersecting streets. You’ll see a mix of spontaneous and commissioned murals (even some commercial brands mimicking wheat paste for ads). On North 8th right now you can find Marilyn Monroe by The Art of Chase (entitled “Geezer Monroe”), a piece by the Queens crew Smart Crew and other pieces.  Groundswell has a mural on North 7th made in partnership with local teens. Nick Kuszyk of RROBOTS has a piece at The Bagel Store on North 3rd. And don’t miss the fun pieces as you get closer to the Williamsburg Bridge and Broadway in South Williamsburg.

Read more from our Street Art ColumnThis article was written collectively by Aby Sam Thomas, Lynn Lieberman, Laura Itzkowitz and Michelle Young