New Yorkers — and street art enthusiasts around the globe — woke up to a harsh (if inevitable) surprise Tuesday: 5Pointz Aerosol Art Center, the 200,000-square-foot space in Long Island City that showcased the work of the world’s most talented graffiti artists, had been painted white overnight. A coworker who rode the elevated 7 train yesterday morning reports passengers audibly gasping as it passed 5Pointz. Speaking to The New York Times, the buildings’ owner, Jerry Wolkoff, claimed the abrupt whitewashing was not only an attempt to avoid confrontation but also an act of mercy preferable to destroying the artwork little by little. “I am telling you, I did not like what they did — I loved what they did,” he told the paper. “I cried this morning, I swear to you.”
Whoever you see as the heroes and villains of this story — and even if you’re not convinced that its closing is a bad thing — 5Pointz was a unique and revolutionary New York art space, and a place worth remembering. Luckily, its purposely ephemeral works of art have been exhaustively documented; this week, just about everyone seems to have a great shot or 90 to share. Join us in commemorating 5Pointz through these beautiful photos of its buildings, sourced both from Flickr and Flavorpill Media’s own staff, and the artworks for which they provided a canvas.
Photo credit: Alan Houston