As the above-ground train rolls past the Court Square stop on the 7 line, a stone’s throw into the heart of Long Island City, passengers are awakened by a defiant cacophony of shapes and colors against a backdrop of the graying and decrepit Queens skyline. There, a red-brick warehouse stands proud, one entirely outfitted in graffiti tags and murals by aerosol artists. Born of a mission to create a legal urban canvas for the criminal art form flaring up in excess throughout the city during the early ’90s, the brainchild of founder Pat DiLillo—then known as “The Phun Phactory”—opened in 1993. In 2002, Jonathan Cohen—an FIT grad who had been tagging since he was 13 and is better known in these parts by his nom de plume Meresone—began curating the work. He soon rechristened the building “5 Pointz,” after the five boroughs of New York City. But it has since branched out and become a cultural mecca of sorts, with pieces by artists from cities such as Paris, Madrid, London and Germany.
On any weekday, while businesses—a clothing factory, storage space for city hotdog vendors and a small non-profit gallery called Local Projects—hum away inside the building, Mr. Cohen can be found in or around the building, monitoring projects and making sure nobody is painting without his permission.
“I’m here every day, I have no life.”
But the 39-year-old Flushing Native may soon be getting his free time back—at the price of his life’s work.
With tongue placed firmly in cheek, New York’s street artist Hanksy has built a career out of poking fun at the self-serious subversives in the gallery graffiti circuit. Even his name is a satirical homage to the British Banksy, with Hanksy being a shortened tag for “Tom Hanksy.”
Picking subjects more pop than political, Hanksy has focused his art on animals and celebrity mash-ups: like the hilarious Ferrell Cats, or the pun-y “Pie Hard” stencil in Bushwick.
If Banksy’s monkeys are telling us, “Laugh now, because one day we’ll be in charge,” than Hanksy’s message might be better summarized as, “Laugh now, because this is funny.”
Have you heard of the graffiti artist—or vandal, depending on your persuasion—who goes by the name of Lewy BTM? Well, you’re about to, because the guy merits a level of fame (or infamy!) for this.
Could this become any more wonderful and/or absurd? Apparently, yes.
Last week, French street artist Kidult took a fire extinguisher full of pink paint, and unleashed it on Marc Jacobs’ SoHo boutique last week, painting the word “ART” over the store. Marc Jacobs had some fun with it on social media, and then, commodtized the ostensible political message by turning a photo of his painted store—which is vandalism or art, depending on how you see it—into a $700 T-Shirt, with the caption “Art by Art Jacobs.” Kidult, the artist, was pissed, and made it known.
Earlier this week, on the night of the Met Ball, the Marc Jacobs boutique in SoHo was hit by French graffiti artist Kidult, who has famously vandalized Supreme, Hermes, and Louis Vuitton, among others. The hit? Kidult took a fire extinguisher filled with pink paint, and sprayed the word ART over the front of the store (seen above).
Last night, the Marc Jacobs store in SoHo at Mercer below Houston was hit with a blast of graffiti by a graffiti artist apparently notorious for hitting fashion labels. This morning, after it was cleaned up, Marc Jacobs’ PR machine appropriated it for their own branding. Smart.
Remember the good old days, when Mayor Giuliani would have you arrested just for keeping spray paint cans in your backpack? When “tagging” buildings and underpasses were used to connote different gang areas? Of course, galleries have been promoting graffiti as “outsider art” since the 80s, but it really took Banksy and Bomb the System to turn elevate the expression of juvenile delinquents into haute couture.
Now that everyone and their grandma has seen Exit Through the Gift Shop, we guess it was inevitable for “Graffiti Artist” to start appearing under the special skills portion of resumes.
Citing continued financial difficulties, the Brooklyn Museum just announced that it will not host the “Art in the Streets” exhibit currently on display at the LA MoCA, as it had planned to next year.
Via press release:
“This is an exhibition about which we were tremendously enthusiastic, and which would follow appropriately in the path Read More
Anything related to the Israel-Palestine conflict is sure to be controversial. That’s what makes it so much fun.
And so it was with the graffiti-covered faux-bomb shelter/art installation erected in Washington Square Park on Monday afternoon.
At issue was a Sderot-style bunker of the sort used by Israelis when Palestinian militants lob missles over the Read More