When 5Pointz was whitewashed overnight, anyone who had visited the center in Long Island City certainly felt a lump in their throat. I did. All of that art…gone…overnight. Some people say…it was just graffiti. But, this wasn’t your vandalism type graffiti…the type that pollutes so many of our cities around the world…this was art by the masters of the aerosol cans. After spending time with the curator of 5Pointz, Meres One (aka Jonathan Cohen), it’s guaranteed you’ll walk away with an appreciation for the artists, their work and the deep love they had for 5Pointz.
Walk a block or so from 5Pointz or MoMA PS1 and you’ll find the Jeffrey Leder Gallery’s exhibition “Whitewash.” Here you’ll find the work of nine aerosol artists and two photographers who share their thoughts and feelings about losing their art to a layer of white paint, as well as the loss of their treasured art center. Meres begins by leading us on a private tour of the gallery while explaining the artwork in further detail, as well as the artists’ background. He’s engaging, proud and ever so passionate about his time at 5Pointz. He provides a great insight into the background and culture of graffiti as he points out various styles within the pieces. Following the gallery tour, Meres gives a live spray painting demo so everyone can see firsthand the steps involved. Who knew there were so many techniques and so many sizes of nozzles for a can of spray paint?
As I walked to the footprint of what was “the mecca of graffiti”…the comment from the gallery so made sense to me…”Laying feelings on canvas, and letting go of the pain, the show brings together artworks that can be interpreted as confession, lessons, or reflection but also aspirations and hopes.”
Something tells me we haven’t heard the ending to this story yet…fingers crossed.
Show Meres some love and sign up for his private tour at Sidetour! You can thank me later.
P.S. The Whitewash exhibition at the Jeffrey Leder Gallery runs until June 8th. An added bonus? If you’ve never been in an old New York City brownstone…here’s your chance!