All posts tagged: Five Pointz

Tell It to The Judge ; Graffiti Artists Win in 5 Pointz Case

Tell It to The Judge ; Graffiti Artists Win in 5 Pointz Case

In a ruling that many graffiti and Street Artists interpret as a validation of their artwork and which may spawn further legal claims by artists in the future, Brooklyn Judge Frederic Block, a United States Federal Judge for the Eastern District of New York, awarded $6.7 million in damages to a group of 21 artists in the high profile case of the former graffiti holy place in Queens called 5 Pointz.

Under the leadership of artist and organizer Jonathan “Meres One” Cohen, also a plantiff, the award is in response to a suit that cried foul on the overnight destruction of multiple artworks on building walls without consultation or notification of the artists.

5Pointz. Queens.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Citing provisions of the 1990 Visual Artists Rights Act that grants artists certain “moral” rights, the artists claimed that their artworks on the 5 Pointz compound that was owned by real estate developer Jerry Wykoff were protected and should be afforded certain rights and considerations.

Arts and intellectual property lawyers and judges will now be examining the implications of the ruling and citing it as an example in arguments about art created on walls legally and possibly those created illegally as well. In a city that prides itself as being a birthplace of graffiti and Street Art, many artists and wall owners must ask themselves if there will need to be an additional layer of agreement before an aerosol can is held aloft.

5Pointz. Queens.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For today the plaintiffs will celebrate the win and derive a sense of validation for their works at the compound that hosted an organic evolution of works by local, national, and international graffiti and Street Artist for nearly two decades under tacit or explicit agreement with the owner.

“I am happy to see my art form recognized as true art,” says Mr. Cohen in an article from Hyperallergic today, and ultimately that is the message that the graffiti writers and Street Artists will take from the story. Others will argue that this is gentrification issue of developers profiting from and then dismissing the artists who bring attractive buyers to a neighborhood. Now that a dollar value has been attached, a certain audience will also begin to again consider the intrinsic value of those artworks in the streets that they dismissed as pure vandalism with little other merit.

5Pointz. Queens.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Of the nearly 1,000 comments posted yesterday on our initial Facebook post about the decision, it is evident that many people still see this kind of art primarily as illegal vandalism and opine that a ruling like this is only adding credibility to criminal behavior. In that argument it is helpful to remember that these artists all had permission to paint.

Undoubtedly additional legacies of the ruling will play out in coming months and years. For the moment, it looks like the artists won this time, which is a seeming rarity during a time when technology has created a nearly unmitigated “Wild West” landscape of rights and responsibilities when it comes to aesthetic expression.


Related stories:

Judge Awards Graffiti Artists $6.7M After 5Pointz Destroyed

Judge Rules Developer Must Pay 5Pointz Graffiti Artists $6.7M

https://qz.com/1107031/new-yorks-5pointz-graffiti-artists-are-suing-a-real-estate-developer-for-destroying-their-work/

Looking at 5Pointz Now, Extolling a Graffiti Holy Place

5Pointz. Meres. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Onur . Semor . Wes21 . Kkade . 5Pointz, Queens. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Esteban Del Valle. 5Pointz. Queens.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Zeso . Meres. 5Pointz. Queens.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

5Pointz. Queens.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Kram. 5Pointz. Queens.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

5Pointz. Queens.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

 

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A Layered History of 5 Pointz Currently on View

A Layered History of 5 Pointz Currently on View

Peeling Back Layers of Paint Offers Inspiration of a Different Kind

Typically one needs to go down underground, over a fence, through a broken window, or behind rusty chained metal doors to be an urban explorer. A flashlight is also advised. However, at the moment you can explore in broad daylight from the sidewalk the urban archaeology of a subculture as the walls of 5 Pointz reveal the layering of pigment one over the other multiple times – a rich cortex of history encased in the stacked strata of sprayed and brushed paint.

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5 Pointz. Long Island City, NY. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Much like a palimpsest, New York is again erasing history to make room for something new. As the ever-expanding cloud of affluence steamrolls across Gotham into the outer boroughs, this urban castle of effluence still stands as a record of the graffiti history that sparked a thousand aerosol aspirations by everyday New York youth – and many international ones as well. Your closer examination of the mottled walls of this former graffiti holy place reveals a peeling façade demarcated by the layers of colors and creative expression that once raced across these walls.

Perhaps by way of skirting the emotional outpouring that was sure to accompany a public act of white blight, the property owners of 5 Pointz in Queens chose to buff this massive complex under cover of night last fall, rather than letting it become a drawn-out public affair. But now it’s just standing here, waiting for demolition.

 

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5 Pointz. Long Island City, NY. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

And as long as this site persists, the burly former home of artist spaces, photo/video shoots, inventive industry and an all encompassing skin that proved to be a magnetic canvas is still fixed as a perpetual reminder of its former self.

Speak to some wistful visiting passersby or check out the scrawled angry missives newly appearing and you learn that this is tantamount to an open wound for some fans, artists, organizers who make up the eclectic mix of mark-making would-be congregants. They still make the pilgrimage to Long Island City if only to look once more, stopping to consider it.

Possibly they are using x-ray eyes as they imagine under the surface buff membrane wrapping this hulking mass lie the burners, throwies, tags, murals, wheat-pastes, exhortations, rants, call-outs, poetries and affinities that were once visible. Now they are all just sitting quietly just under the layer of hastily applied patchy neutral tint.

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5 Pointz. Long Island City, NY. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Looking for remnants of what was once there, you discover the layers of paint now chipping and fanning in a thinly striped crust of paint, bending back its jagged edge; hues and shades and tenors discordant. Sugar soda orange, shamrock green, forest moss, fire engine red, lemon yellow, cerulean blue – the primary layers here must reveal something to us, like the rings of a tree as read by a dendrochronologist examining the stump; each line of color marks a moment in time, giving us news about the calm or harshness of the climate in that era.

Presently appearing as a giant hunted pachyderm fallen in the urban jungle, the relevance of 5 Pointz once hinged on the evolving collection of freshly painted works going up day after day, year after year, by well known and lesser known artists who visited from all over the world. Some even called it Mecca, for lack of a better word, and painters and fans alike felt compelled to visit it. Yet, you may consider it to be still alive.

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5 Pointz. Long Island City, NY. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

So the murals on the surface are gone but in reality they are not – they are here in front of us, just covered by layers of paint. If you want to, you may see it as evidence of the tribute to  collaborative public space that 5 Pointz embodied – the affirmation of a multi-membered community united in all it’s multi-colored splendor. Here is your visual forensic report: before you is a brief sampling of the thousands of hours of sweat, labor, inspiration –  and thousands of gallons of paint, vividly represented, richly textured, and unquestioned proof of the success of 5 Pointz.

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5 Pointz. Long Island City, NY. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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5 Pointz. Long Island City, NY. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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5 Pointz. Long Island City, NY. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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5 Pointz. Long Island City, NY. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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5 Pointz. Long Island City, NY. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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5 Pointz. Long Island City, NY. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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5 Pointz. Long Island City, NY. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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5 Pointz. Long Island City, NY. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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5 Pointz. Long Island City, NY. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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5 Pointz. Long Island City, NY. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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5 Pointz. Long Island City, NY. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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5 Pointz. Long Island City, NY. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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5 Pointz. Long Island City, NY. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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5 Pointz. Long Island City, NY. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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5 Pointz. Long Island City, NY. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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5 Pointz. Long Island City, NY. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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5 Pointz. Long Island City, NY. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!

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This article is also published on The Huffington Post

 

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The 2013 BSA Year in Images (VIDEO)

The 2013 BSA Year in Images (VIDEO)

Here it is! Our 2013 wrap up featuring favorite images of the year by Brooklyn Street Art’s Jaime Rojo.

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Before our video roundup below here is the Street Art photographer’s favorite of the year, snapped one second before he was singled out of a New York crowd, handcuffed, and stuffed into a police car – sort of like the Banksy balloons he was capturing.

“Among all the thousands of photos I took this year there’s one that encapsulates the importance of Street Art in the art world and some of the hysteria that can build up around it,” he says of his final shot on the final day of the one month Better Out Than In artist ‘residency’ in NYC this October. It was a cool day to be a Street Art photographer – but sadly Rojo was camera-less in a case of mistaken identity, if only for a short time.

Released two hours later after the actual car-jumping trespasser was charged, Rojo was happy to hear the Chief Lieutenant tell his officer “you’ve got the wrong man”, to get his shoelaces back, and to discover this photo was still on his camera. He also gets to tell people at parties that he spent some time in the holding cell with the two guys whom New York watched tugging down the B-A-N-K-S-Y.

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What’s everybody looking at? Jaime Rojo’s favorite image of the year at the very end of the Banksy brouhaha. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Now, for the Video

When it came to choosing the 112 images for the video that capture the spirit of the Street Art scene in ’13, we were as usual sort of overwhelmed to comb through about ten thousand images and to debate just how many ‘legal’ versus ‘illegal’ pieces made it into the mix. Should we include only images that went up under the cover of the night, unsanctioned, uncensored, uncompromised, unsolicited and uncommissioned? Isn’t that what Street Art is?

Right now there are a growing number of legal pieces going up in cities thanks to a growing fascination with Street Art and artists and it is causing us to reevaluate what the nature of the Street Art scene is, and what it may augur for the future. You can even say that from a content and speech perspective, a sizeable amount of the new stuff is playing it safe – which detracts from the badass rebel quality once associated with the practice.

These works are typically called by their more traditional description – murals. With all the Street Art / graffiti festivals now happening worldwide and the growing willingness of landlords to actually invite ‘vandals’ to paint their buildings to add cache to a neighborhood and not surprisingly benefit from the concomitant increase in real estate values, many fans and watchers have been feeling conflicted in 2013 about the mainstreaming that appears to be taking place before our eyes. But for the purposes of this roundup we decided to skip the debate and let everybody mix and mingle freely.

This is just a year-end rollicking Street Art round-up; A document of the moment that we hope you like.

Ultimately for BSA it has always been about what is fresh and what is celebrating the creative spirit – and what is coming next. “We felt that the pieces in this collection expressed the current vitality of the movement – at least on the streets of New York City,” says photographer and BSA co-founder Rojo. It’s a fusillade of the moment, complete with examples of large murals, small wheat pastes, intricate stencils, simple words made with recycled materials or sprayed on to walls, clay installations, three dimensional sculptures, hand painted canvases, crocheted installations, yarn installations etc… they somehow captured our imaginations, inspired us, made us smile, made us think, gave us impetus to continue doing what we are doing and above all made us love this city even more and the art and the artists who produce it.

Brooklyn Street Art 2013 Images of the Year by Jaime Rojo includes the following artists;

A Dying Breed, Aakash Nihalini, Agostino Iacursi, Amanda Marie, Apolo Torres, Axel Void, Bagman, Bamn, Pixote, Banksy, B.D. White, Betsy, Bishop203, NDA, Blek le Rat, br1, Case Maclaim, Cash For Your Warhol, Cholo, Chris RWK, Chris Stain, Billy Mode, Christian Nagel, Cost, ENX, Invader, Crush, Dal East, Damien Mitchell, Dase, Dasic, Keely, Deeker, Don’t Fret, The Droid, ECB, el Seed, El Sol 25, Elbow Toe, Faile, Faith 47, Five Pointz, Free Humanity, Greg LaMarche, Hot Tea, How & Nosm, Icy & Sot, Inti, Jilly Ballistic, John Hall, JR, Jose Parla, Judith Supine, Kremen, Kuma, LMNOPI, London Kaye, Love Me, Martha Cooper, Matt Siren, Elle, Mika, Miss Me, Missy, MOMO, Mr. Toll, Nychos, Okuda, Alice Mizrachi, OLEK, Owen Dippie, Paolo Cirio, Paul Insect, Phetus, Phlegm, Revok, Pose, QRST, Rambo, Ramiro Davaro, Reka, Rene Gagnon, ROA, RONES, Rubin, bunny M, Square, Stikki Peaches, Stikman, Swoon, Tristan Eaton, The Lisa Project 2013, UFO 907, Willow, Swill, Zed1, and Zimer.

Read more about Banksy’s last day in New York here and our overview of his residency in the essay “Banksy’s Final Trick” on The Huffington Post.

 

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BSA Images of The Week: 10.20.13

BSA Images of The Week: 10.20.13

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The leaves in Central Park are aflame and so are the passions of Street Art fans (and artists) this week in New York where the general public is now conditioned to be on alert for a near-daily announcement of a new Banksy installation nearly anywhere in the city. It can be a stencil, a sculpture, a performance, a rolling truck gallery, or a canvas suspended from the Highline – but don’t worry about finding it – it will be announced on the website first…

Lead image above >>Banksy (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Banksy (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We’ve tried to keep it all in perspective and not slavishly cancel life to run out and capture the latest installation, but the buzz is unavoidable and we get sucked in.  It is now taking on some air of a circus, complete with barkers and clowns and otters flapping their flippers (and lips).  As a branding “re-fresh”, it’s been a very successful campaign so far with news reportage, Instagramming and re-tweets, crowds assembling at a moments notice to snap images of and/or with the work, and we even found vigilante fans tackling vandals who are vandalizing the vandalism.  You can’t engineer that sort of irony. Now an elected leader or two are talking about trying to capture the president of Banksy Inc. LLC – which would send a clear message to all Street Artists that this really is the best way to market your work.

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Banksy. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Meanwhile there are many other Street Artists and fine artists in general who are still at work on the streets of New York, and you may even give their content, quality and placement more praise than some from this Banksy campaign. We’ve always celebrated the creative spirit however it is expressed and invariably find some of the greatest work is done by people we’ve never heard of, or barely know much about. At a time where large media is consolidating and the individual voice is being marginalized and commodified, we find this to still be an amazingly democratic practice of joining the conversation, if imperfect and confusing. And New York doesn’t stop just because one new guy is getting a lot of attention – Hell, we barely notice when Obama or the Pope or even the Queen of England visits – she’s just one queen after all and we have the entire neighborhood of Chelsea.

So here is our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Banksy, Bifido, Cali Killa, Dede, Don Rimx, El Kamino, El Sol 25, JC, London Kaye, Meres, Nepo, Pastey Whyte, Shin Shin, and Shiro.

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______________________, The Musical! Banksy. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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The view into the back of a box truck with an installation attributed to Banksy. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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London Kaye (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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A Dying Breed. 5ptz. Queens, NY. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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9 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Shiro. 5ptz. Queens, NY. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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El Kamino. American Flag with Cardinal. Welling Court. Queens, NY. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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El Sol 25 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Don Rimx . NEPO. 5ptz. Queens, NY. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Don Rimx . NEPO. Detail. 5ptz. Queens, NY. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Pastey Whyte (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Meres. 5ptz. Queens, NY. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Shin Shin (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artist Unknown. 5ptz. Queens, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Cali Killa (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dede (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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JC in Barcelona, Spain. (photo © JC)

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Bifido. Rome, Italy 2013. (photo © Bifido)

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Untitled. Manhattan, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!

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Images Of The Week: 10.13.13

Images Of The Week: 10.13.13

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Welcome! Now Go Home! That’s what Tony Carapachio at the corner deli used to say about all the foreigners moving into the neighborhood. Sounds like a lot of the comments being directed at Banksy by locals, although their voices are primarily drowned out by clicking iPhones.

The pie is big enough for everybody, and in a city where 176 languages are spoken by kids in our schools, we can probably handle new voices on the street. Our Banksy-related favorite development this week was the small pack of entrepreneurs who were selling access to his stencil on a wall in East New Yawk for $20 a pop. Nice! They’re not the first or the last who will endeavor to profit from his work.

Also this week came the definitive news that 5 Ptz in Queens will be razed in favor of a new condo development. It is privately owned and has transformed into a graffiti holy place over the last decade and a half, and while you could see the final outcome being something like this, many had held out hope that it would be preserved or saved by a rich Robin Hood sort of character – like Jay Z or even Banksy.

Tweet from @ajayjapan 11 Oct “I wish Banksy would save 5 Pointz while he’s in town. #banksytotherescue

and @xblaze23 11 Oct “It would be dope if Banksy did something at 5 Pointz considering the end is near. #banksyny

You may remember our photo essay from earlier in the summer about 5 Ptz.  The good news is that they say the new space will set aside 10,000 square feet for graffiti.

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Case MaClaim, Christian Nagel, Dase, Dasic, Effy, El Sol 25, Ever, Seed, Tristan Eaton, Zed1.

Top image > Seed. 5ptz, Queens, NYC (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Zed1. Welling Court, Queens, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Zed1. Welling Court, Queens, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Christian Nagel. 5ptz, Queens, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Effy. 5ptz, Queens, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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El Sol 25. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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El Sol 25 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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El Sol 25 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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El Sol 25 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dase. 5ptz, Queens, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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EVER (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tristan Eaton for L.I.S.A. Little Italy, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dasic and friends at 5ptz, Queens, NYC. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Banksy (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. Manhattan, NY 2013. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!

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Phun Phactory 10 Years Later, a Reunion on The Street

Last weekend the Phun Phactory returned to New York’s streets for an aerosol infused celebration of Old Tymers – and a promise for the future.

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The original graff spot of the same name was founded in 1993 by Pat DiLillo and the pioneering aerosol artist Michael “Iz The Wiz” Martin, who recently passed away. Created as a safe place to promote legal aerosol art in New York City, the Phun Phactory allowed many a newcomer to practice and perfect their skills in a supportive environment, frequently working side by side with veterans. The Queens factory building in Long Island City across from MoMA/PS1 became a free public outdoor art exhibit and is considered a landmark. The original site, now known as 5 Pointz, passed from their hands by the end of the decade.

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Saturday a large corrugated metal wall, 3 sides of a block in an industrial site in North Brooklyn, feted newbies and old skoolers to “Old Tymer’s Day”, a gathering of aerosol artists who began riding trains and spraying tags during a time in the city’s recent history when the hand-lettered graffiti style defined the urban environment and spawned an international youth culture infatuated with all things New York City.Brooklyn-Street-Art-WEB-Phun_Factory-June-2010-copyright-Steven-P_Harrington-L1090275

Because of we’re kind of ignorant about graffiti at BSA, rather than concentrate on too many individual pieces and artists, we wandered the scene meeting people and listening to the DJ beats, soaking in the sun, and feeling a little bit of the magic.  It was a hot and humid day and most people moved slowly to endure the heat, enjoying  hanging out, trading stories, talking about technique, walking over to the barbecue, and taking a seat behind the wheel of a classic convertible.  The vibe was nice and the feeling of community and creativity was in the air.

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Jeremy Vega, the Director of the Phun Phactory, says that very soon a new Phun Phactory will headquarter itself in Williamsburg and will make available more than 500,000 square feet of public space for artists of all mediums to showcase their artwork legally.  Judging from the number of young people we saw hanging out Saturday, the new generation will be in attendance.

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This crew of stylish people spontaneously jumped together for a photo as soon as they saw the tripod. In front of this piece by CANO were Boltism, KCONE, Atom, CANO, Vic, and Chino.

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Sitting on a loading dock, these two stayed cool and did tags in a black book.  They said their names are Mary Kate and Ashley.

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The barbecue was open and working, and one guy was making mixed fruity drinks in a blender! Sharp knife too.

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Had a really nice conversation with this guy, who was waiting for his 18 year old son to bring by his paint so he could start his piece.  His name is Zord AKA ZD, G+F, TDT, Tns, R+W, MPC.  He  said he was the king of the BMT, J and M lines circa 1985-1990. We discussed his Kiss action figure collection that got thrown away, Satanism, addiction, opinions on the differences between graffiti and street art, film school, and peace and love.

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This was an impromptu (and shaded) area for blackbooks, which people brought to be signed and traded back and forth discussing.

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Nothing like a robot dance and some heavy metal air guitar for fun on a Saturday.

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(all images © Steven P. Harrington)

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