Thursday, March 17, 2011

5Pointz fans hope petition will save Queens graffiti artists' haven

Graffiti artists are known by the tags they scrawl on buildings, but yesterday they were hoping their real signatures can save the 5Pointz factory in Long Island City.

Local spray-painters are circulating several petitions against the proposed demolition of 5Pointz, an urban art mecca since the early 1990s.

But factory owner Jerry Wolkoff said yesterday that he still wants to replace the graffiti-caked structure with two residential towers.

"For years, there have been people in the community who have been asking me to take it down because it is an eyesore," he said.

Wolkoff also vowed to let aerosol artists paint on a large concrete wall that will separate the new buildings from the Long Island Rail Road station.

He said he has scaled back his plans from 1,300 rental units to between 800 and 900 after a meeting with city zoning officials.

One online petition protesting 5Pointz's demise had already garnered nearly 2,000 signatures as of yesterday afternoon.

"Knocking it down would be like knocking down the Statue of Liberty," wrote Evan Davies on the "Show Ur Love to 5Pointz" page at ipetitions.com.

Another poster compared 5Pointz to the Sistine Chapel and the pyramids before pleading, "Find somewhere else!!"

Jonathan Cohen, who founded the collective, said he is touched by the petition and a Facebook page called "Save 5Pointz" that has been "liked" 306 times.

"It's by the fans who really appreciate what we have," he said.

Despite uncertainty about the site's future, Cohen said 5Pointz will still hold a fund-raiser at the upper East Side lounge Session 73 on Wednesday to buy supplies for the upcoming season, which starts in May.

"I'm concentrating on really making this season our best season so if it is our last, it'll be our best," Cohen said.


Taken from: NY Daily News

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