Fresh Graffiti Tags Appear on Whitewashed 5Pointz

By Jeanmarie Evelly on November 20, 2013 11:22am | Updated on November 20, 2013 5:22pm

LONG ISLAND CITY —  Graffiti taggers on a mission returned to 5Pointz Wednesday morning — sounding off on the owners' decision to coat the building in white paint the day before.

Though most of the Long Island City complex remained white, a handful of tags and messages could be spotted at the site. At the corner of Jackson Avenue and Crane Street, orange and black letters were spray-painted over the thin veneer of whitewash.

A number of messages were also scrawled inside a loading dock at the center of the complex, many expressing frustration at Jerry Wolkoff, one of the developers who is planning to tear down the buildings to make way for two high-rise luxury towers.

"Jerry I will never forgive you," someone wrote. "You destroyed our home," wrote another.

"We want to win just once," one tagger wrote on a wall along Davis Street.

5Pointz spokeswoman Marie Cecile Flaguel said the group wasn't responsible for the messages, adding that head curator Jonathan Cohen, known as Meres One, has discouraged the public from tagging the building.

"Meres expressly said yesterday, 'I don’t want people to touch the building, I want the building to stay white,'" she said.

Organizers of a vigil Tuesday night handed out sheets of paper for supporters to scrawl messages on instead, Flaguel said, and they kept their writing confined to either the posters or a set of wooden wall panels that 5Pointz owns.

She said people are more likely to tag the buildings now that the 5Pointz art is gone, where before taggers respected the works enough not to touch them. 

"That's Jerry's problem now," she said.

Jerry Wolkoff said he'd seen some of the new tags Wednesday morning — including a swear word at the corner of Jackson Avenue and Crane Street — and will likely have it painted it over, he said.

"Nobody wants to have that silliness put on a building," he said. 

He maintains that his decision to whitewash the 5Pointz art was the right one — saying he did it in the early morning hours, without any warning, to avoid altercations.

"I believe what I did in the middle of the morning, early in the morning, was best for both of us because they would have gotten arrested," he said.

Wolkoff also said Tuesday that he thought the one-time whitewashing would be less painful than having the works of art dismantled one at a time once demolition begins.

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