Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Last fall, we ventured out to Long Island City to explore the ultimate urban artist's playground: 5Pointz. 5Pointz is a 200,000-square-foot warehouse that has served as a constantly changing art space for graffiti artists since 1993. On its walls, one can see how far graffiti has evolved from subversive tags on subway cars to works of art utilizing pointillism, photorealism, stencils, and optical illusions.

No surface is left untouched at 5Pointz—even the side of a dumpster and a steel beam are utilized as artists' canvases.
According to several news reports, however, 5Pointz's days are numbered. It's a familiar tale, one we've heard before with the demise of another beloved graffiti mecca, 11 Spring Street. As New York continuously gentrifies, property owners become less willing to let their cash-cows-in-waiting sit idly  in the name of art. With the opening of MoMA PS1 across the street, and the cropping up of more and more luxury high rise buildings, hip restaurants and cool bars in Long Island City, it was inevitable that 5Pointz's day would come. Reports say that the site will come down in September 2013 to make way for a residential development so we have little more than a year to enjoy the wild sights at 5Pointz.

Curated by urban artist Meres One (who created the amazing 3-D piece at the beginning of this post), the artwork at 5Pointz changes constantly so it is worth coming back to even if you've already been. Hop on the 7 train from Grand Central Station and get off at Jackson Avenue. You can't miss it; the view of 5Pointz from the 7 train is one of the most iconic New York views you'll ever see. If only we could keep it.

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