Last year, the street art community suffered a great loss when developers unexpectedly whitewashed New York City's well-known graffiti mecca, 5 Pointz. Artists and curators had been battling property owners Jerry and David Wolkoff over the fate of the 200,000-square-foot complex, instigating efforts to get a court injunction against the building's possible demolition. However, their petitions failed and the Wolkoffs responded by painting over the facade of 5 Pointz in November of 2013, destroying decades of street art history.
Just One, "Change"
The iconic structure, located in Long Island City, has yet to be razed, though the aerosol artworks of figures like Cortes and Meres One have been long erased. While mourners await 5 Pointz's official demolition (set to make way for two high-rise residential towers), the folks at Jeffrey Leder Gallery are taking action. In an exhibition aptly titled "Whitewash," the fellow LIC locale is showcasing the work of various graffiti artists and photographers connected with 5 Pointz in order to pay homage to the haven's aesthetic and emotional past.
“'Whitewash' is an answer to the violent act of G&M realty on November 19th, 2013 in Long Island City Queens. Overnight thousands of murals adorning the building known as 5 Pointz were destroyed. It‘s a story of pain, sadness, and anger... an epic of an art community and its home coming apart under the pressure of economical trends and waves of gentrification," the gallery writes on its site.
"['Whitewash'] enables the artists to express their true feelings and thought process since losing their work to a white layer of paint, and their home to the pressing demands of real estate development. For the first time since the whitewash we will witness how affected this collective is by being eclipsed from their 11 years home."
The exhibition will take over two floors of the Jeffrey Leder Gallery, featuring pieces by Auks, Cortes, Hans Von Rittern, Jerms, Meres One, Orestes Gonzalez, Poem, Shiro, Just One, See TF, Topaz and Zimad. See a preview of the show, on view until June 8, 2014, below and let us know your thoughts on the loss of one of NYC's most beloved street art landmarks in the comments.