All posts tagged: Semor

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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Looking at 5Pointz Now, Extolling a Graffiti Holy Place

While famed LA/Chicago/Detroit graffiti artists Revok and Pose are in town getting up on the Houston Street wall this week and many members of the MSK crew were in Bushwick doing tributes to Nekst over the weekend, New Yorkers have had the opportunity to talk with a lot of visiting friends who are in town in advance of the Revok/Pose dual show at Jonathan Levine this Saturday. As graffiti culture continues to assert its place in modern art history even while expanding and redefining itself on the street and in homes, galleries, and museums along a storied continuum, we are reminded again about the foundational role that graffiti has played in our aesthetic, helping to define urban culture and at least partially fueling the evolution of what we call a Street Art scene today.

MERES. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As with most subcultures in a capitalist society, there are a fair amount of commercial influences swimming around and through the graffiti world too, the products and motifs employed to sell them somehow simplifying graffitis complex nature and diluting its emotional resonance for many. This is the water we’re all swimming in, however, and you could drown trying to fight it. Despite commercial pressures and their mutations, it is evident that the graffiti style is alive and well and building upon itself in new ways. For some, graffiti is analogous to the early punk scene for some others it could be inextricably tied to hip hop. But as it continues to morph into multiple subgenres it still seems perfectly clear that it is born from a scream, a helluva celebratory and defiant yell ; very individual, often powerful, it is tied to an agonizing drive to be heard and to be seen, to capture by hand something that is channeling by its own volition through your mind and from your gut. Probably. That incisive wisdom from BSA and $2.50 will get you a ride on the subway.

Zimer (photo © Jaime Rojo)

BSA will never be versed enough to speak authoritatively about graffiti culture, nor do we pretend to – it is so vast and storied and sort of outside our wheelhouse. But seeing all this graff action this week brings our minds to a place like 5Pointz in Long Island City, Queens. Begun as Phun Factory and eventually changing its name, this 200,000 sf factory building cannot be overestimated in its impact visually over two decades as well as for the community service it has provided for many artists, young and older, to practice, experiment, and even hit a level of mastery of their craft.  We won’t call it a Mecca, as we’ve been schooled that some of our brothers and sisters think that’s disrespectful – So we’ll just call it a Holy Place for many here and around the world. An ever evolving canvas viewable from the street and passing trains, many a tourist has made the pilgrimage to check it out; a touchstone for the true New York, and perhaps one that is disappearing.

Sen2 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As the fevered pitch of cries from fans and community for the preservation of 5 Pointz runs up against the dual realities of a crumbling infrastructure and an increasingly  desirable location for real estate development, we all reluctantly cede that the writing is probably on the wall (pardon the pun). Absent a deep-pocketed philanthropist who wants to preserve it (Jay-Z?) or a groundswell of citizenry demanding public seizing of private property (torches and pitchforks anyone?), you have to know that this can’t last forever despite what many see as its importance and relevance to this culture, history, and this time. But really, just take a look around this spot. If you are here now, or are planning to come soon, you know that 5Pointz has the power of a beacon for many; a living thriving vessel for the creative spirit to be expressed in myriad ways, many personal. All hail 5Pointz and those who have made it successful all these years.

Here is a small collection of more recent images of 5Pointz.

Shiro (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Mr. Blob (photo © Jaime Rojo)

See TF (photo © Jaime Rojo)

ZMOGK . Shiro on top. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Never (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Toofly (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bishop203 . Bisco203 . Leais203 Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The Yok . Sheryo (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Onur . Semor . Wes21 . KKade (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Onur . Semor . Wes21 . KKade Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pablo Mustafa (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Monsieur Plume . Raid Crew (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Spidertag (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Kram (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Spud (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Help (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Grafik (photo © Jaime Rojo)

el Seed . Jaye (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Color at 5Pointz (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Much respect to Meres and to all the writers on this epic wall and whole compound. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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Recap of Galore Urban Art Festival in Copenhagen

This summer festivals around the globe like Galore in Copenhagen have given many a Street Artist and graffiti artist a new shot at an audience in the last decade or so. While the old skool graff heads and Street Artists may deride these affairs as illegitimate bastards of a legitimately illegit scene, more artists seem to just care about getting up and are happy to not look over their shoulder doing it. But let’s admit that it’s a fine line many are treadin to not let the event fall into a “community craft fair” feeling or into a logo-filled “lifestyle” brand jam of products and to still keep it fresh. No matter what, haters gonna hate and you just gotta do your thang, and for us, it’s all about the creative spirit.

So the Galore Urban Art Festival just ended and photographer Henrik Haven has just sent us some of his images of the happenings on the ground as many of the artists were busy completing their pieces. You may have seen the huge mural from Gr170 on Images of the Week yesterday and a couple of weeks ago we featured a full description of Aryz big mural for Galore. Special thanks to Henrik for all the exclusive images just for BSA readers.

Nelio (photo © Henrik Haven)

Zoer (photo © Henrik Haven)

Zoer (photo © Henrik Haven)

Gary (photo © Henrik Haven)

Blank (photo © Henrik Haven)

Blank (photo © Henrik Haven)

Mr. Wany working on his piece and on the right Semor and Dais at work on their piece. (photo © Henrik Haven)

Vizie on the left with Mr. Wany completed piece on the right.  (photo © Henrik Haven)

Sobek and Kcis at work on one of their pieces. (photo © Henrik Haven)

Sobek and Kcis (photo © Henrik Haven)

Sobek and Kcis (photo © Henrik Haven)

Galore Urban Art Festival, Copen (photo © Henrik Haven)

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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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Aryz in Copenhagen at Galore Urban Art Festival

Galore Urban Art Festival bills itself as “a gathering point for Copenhagen’s underground where artists can meet, exhibit and share art. We facilitate the raw, the unestablished and the alternative and take the role as an alternative to conventional art exhibitions”.  Street Artist Aryz has just completed this striking piece on the exposed brick side of a huge building here and we’re pleased that photographer Henrik Haven has joined us as a BSA collaborator to share some exclusive photos.

Can’t really tell what is happening in the scene though. Any ideas? Is she choking him, or comforting him?

The Galore festival took place this August from 16th to the 18th and please stay tuned for more images from the rest of the participating artists including: Above, Dems, Gary, GR170, KCIS, POS, Semor, Sobek, Sofles, The Nom Nom Collective, Sozy, Storm, Vizie and Zoer.

Aryz  (photo © Henrik Haven)

This is a great shot from inside the building next to Aryz  (photo © Henrik Haven)

Aryz  (photo © Henrik Haven)

Aryz  (photo © Henrik Haven)

Aryz  (photo © Henrik Haven)

Click here to learn more about Galore

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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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