5Pointz Gallery Show to Feature Artists' Take On Whitewashed Building
LONG ISLAND CITY — A new gallery show featuring the work of several artists from the 5Pointz graffiti collective will explore reactions to their one-time canvas being abruptly painted over last year.
"Whitewash" will open April 5 at the Jeffrey Leder Gallery and is being billed as "an answer to the violent act of G&M realty on November 19th," when the building's owners painted over much of the artwork at the Long Island City graffiti mecca, organizers said.
"We had, as a collective, discussed the idea of doing a white wash show" to give artists the opportunity to express how they felt about about the incident, said Marie Cecil Flageul, a spokeswoman for the group and curator of the show.
Art lovers and 5Pointz fans were shocked in November when the graffiti hub was suddenly covered in white paint overnight. The site, at Jackson Avenue and Davis Street, is slated to be demolished in the coming months to make way for two residential apartment towers.
Building owner Jerry Wolkoff of G&M Realty, who had allowed artists to use the exteriors of his properties as a canvas for years, told DNAinfo at the time that he'd decided to have the site painted white to avoid a confrontation during the demolition process.
He has maintained that his future development will include art walls and artist studios and that he plans to invite artists back to the site once construction is complete.
The show at the Jeffrey Leder Gallery, at 21-37 45th Rd., is the second featuring the works of 5Pointz artists since the November paint job. Several also displayed their work in another show on Long Island in January.
"Whitewash" will take up two floors of the gallery and will feature the works of nine graffiti artists and two photographers, including Shiro, Cortes, See TF and Meres One.
Flageul said the artwork was created specifically for the show and will explore the artists' feelings since the day of the whitewashing.
"That’s kind of the journey, from the first morning, the anger and the pain of seeing it all white," said Flageul, adding that the show is also a way to provide some closure for the group and help them reflect on their plans for the future.
In a statement on his website, Jeffrey Leder expressed his own feelings about the loss of 5Pointz, located just a short distance from his gallery.
"There's an emptiness that I experience now that 5Pointz is no more," he said. "5Pointz was a constant backdrop for many of my days and a positive experience, both aesthetically and emotionally."
The show will open to the public on Saturday and will be on display through June 8. For more information, visit the Jeffrey Leder Gallery website.