5 Pointz

5 Pointz: The Institute of Higher Burnin’ or the 5Pointz Aerosol Art Center, Inc. is an outdoor art exhibit space in Long Island City, New York, considered to be the world’s premiere ‘graffiti Mecca,’ where aerosol artists from around the globe paint colorful pieces on the walls of a 200,000-square-foot factory building.

The complex was first established as the ‘Phun Phactory’ in 1993 by Pat DiLillo under a program called ‘Graffiti Terminators’ to discourage graffiti vandalism by encouraging artists to display their work in a formal showcase. In 2002, Jonathan Cohen, a graffiti artist operating under the name ‘Meres’ began curating the work. If he is not familiar with an artist, Cohen will ask for a sample of their work; if it is a mural, he will ask for a layout as well.

The name 5Pointz signifies the five boroughs coming together as one, and its reputation as an epicenter of the international graffiti scene. The complex is across Jackson Avenue from MoMA PS1 but is not associated with MoMA. It is privately owned by Long Island developer Jerry Wolkoff, and houses the Crane Street Studios in which 200 artists pay below market rents for studio space.

In 2009, a 450-square-foot studio was listed as renting for $600 per month. 5pointz is tentatively scheduled to be torn down in 2013 to make way for a $400 million residential project. The plan calls for 10,000 square feet of art panels and walls in the building including street level facades to be used for curated graffiti.

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