It’s been coming for some time now, the death of 5Pointz. The building’s owner, Jerry Wolkoff, decided to cash in on his investment, as is his right, and put up cash cow condos on the site. And thus it came about that some time late on the night of November 18 and early in the morning of November 19 that outside surface of 5Pointz was white-washed. And wouldn’t you know…
Less than 12 hours later, however, some of the grieving artists were back, with a new kind of artwork that could be seen glowing on its sides.In a so-called light writing protest, artists beamed up messages in neon lights.Some messages criticized the building's destruction as "genocide" and "greed." One message was one of thanks, reading: "For the yrs of love... 2 B continued! Not the End.."
But it is, of course, the end, on that building. Because that building is going the way all buildings eventually do, it’s going to be ground into dust, and new buildings put it its place.
Such is life.
And such is graffiti. First the burner, and then the buff. Burner, buff, burner, buff. The eternal cycle. And, because it IS a cycle, no one gets the last word.
Though, come to think of it, I just watched this Dr. Who episode in which we were shown the death of the earth when the sun, finally, exploded. As all stars must. Someone must have had a last word on that one.
Though it’s just across the river – well, two rivers and an island: Hudson River > Manhattan Island > East River > Queens – I’ve never been there. Never felt the need.
Lookit this flic:
That name in the middle, Meres, that’s Jonathan Cohen. He curated the art at 5Pointz. What a concept! Curating. Graffiti. LOL! But that’s what he did. Here’s another Meres:
See that bit of blue tarp on the lower right. Part of a domicile constructed by a homeless guy – looking for work, he told me, temporary setback – that’s a rim from his bike there left of center.
Those two are gone. The first just faded away and then got gone over. The second disappeared when the wall was destroyed; but so far the apartment building planned for that site hasn’t materialized. Go figure.
Here’s another Meres; it’s a little difficult to make out there, but it’s the one in the middle:
I don’t know whether that’s still there or not. I took the flick in September 2008, five years ago, plenty of time for graffilution – that’s graffiti evolution – to have run its course. But I rather doubt anyone’s gone up there and buffed that spot and other writers may well have left things alone. Who knows? I’ll have to check it out next time I come into JC on the 12th Street viaduct.
Think about it. Writers from all over the world got up at 5Pointz. Meres curated 5Pointz, so he’s connected to all those writers. Meres got up in JC, so – THROUGH THAT CONNECTION ALONE – JC is connected to all those writers.
And here you are, sitting in front of your computer (or holding your smART phone), looking at these flicks. So you’re connected to Meres connected to 5Pointz connected to the world.
Long live graffiti!