October 29, 2013

by Taylor Nichols

Photo by Shaylee Vigil
Photo by Shaylee Vigil

Painting and drawing are some of the oldest forms of expression and story-telling, dating back to cave paintings. People have been creating art for thousands of years, and to this day it is a coveted and respected manifestation of human creativity and emotion.

5 Pointz is a building in Queens, New York that has been dedicated to street art and graffiti since 1993. Artists from around the world have gone there to leave their personal mark on the walls that have been called the “graffiti mecca.”  Graffiti artist Meres has curated the artwork since 2002.

The building owners submitted a plan to demolish the building and replace it with condominiums, which was approved this year. Many of the site’s artists are protesting this, and a lawsuit was filed by Meres and 16 other artists which resulted in a 10 day restraining order, preventing both the beginning steps of construction and any further painting. The restraining order ended yesterday, Oct. 28. The owners have not said what they plan to do now.

It’s a depressing thought that such an iconic site, covered in 20 years’ worth of artwork, might be destroyed to make way for another bland and typical condominium. A goldmine of personal expression like 5 Pointz stands for more than just artwork. It stands for the fleeting and beautiful element of humanity that is expression.

Art is one of the few aspects of society that can be perfect while full of imperfections. Jackson Pollock created renowned works of art by flicking paint on a canvas. Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso are both known for their strange and abstract styles experimenting with surrealism.

Art is something anyone can find meaning in, and it makes people think. It touches the part of the human soul that we often forget about in the fast-paced lives we lead and the never-ending flurry of details from our day-to-day lives.

Street art is especially distinct because it’s openly displayed. People walk past graffiti every single day, and the feeling of stumbling across a mural or piece of street art that resonates with you when you least expect it is one that surprises us and can remind us of our unique perspective on life.

In the past graffiti has been seen less as a form of art and more as a representation of the unsavory members of society. More recently, with artists such as Banksy and SEEN, graffiti and street art have become much more recognized as a legitimate form of expression.

The potential destruction of this collaborative canvas is a sad reminder that we as humans forget to stop and appreciate the beauty of the world around us and the people in it. We can be blinded by greed and an industrious desire to grow and as a result we lose touch with some of the most intriguing and intense vessels of human expression.

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