Through My Eyes #1: 5Pointz

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Today launches the first in a series of visual gallery posts entitled “Through My Eyes.” All the images in this series are either photographed (most often on an iPhone) or created by me.

It’s not about ego. Honestly, I have no idea if you’ll find the way I see the world remotely interesting. And that’s cool. It’s just an experiment, designed to show how two people can stand side-by-side and often see and capture very different things, then share them though different lenses. Because…

Seeing happens as much in the brain and the soul as it does in the eyes. (Click to tweet)

To kick things off, I’m sharing images I’ve shot over the last two years while visiting what, until two weeks ago, was the world’s mecca for street art, 5Pointz. For more than 10 years, the beat up industrial building in Long Island City, NY hosted art from many of the top street artists in the world. The massive 200,000 foot living gallery was curated by aerosol artist or “burner”, Jonathan Cohen, more commonly known as Meres One.

Over the last few years, Meres and his partners had been battling the building’s owner, who wanted to tear it down to build a new luxury high rise. The legal fight had become increasingly heated and, based on recent news reports, after a win in court, the landlord brought in a team of painters to whitewash the building under police protection one night.

The art you see below is now gone, but not lost…

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R.I.P. 5Pointz.

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30 responses

30 responses to “Through My Eyes #1: 5Pointz”

  1. Pamela Miles says:

    Jonathan, I LOVE this! I photograph street art every chance I get. Thank you so much for giving this art an afterlife we can all share.

  2. Karen Fields says:

    Jonathan, I thank you for sharing these pictures because I hadn’t ever heard of this wonderful street art until a few weeks ago when I heard they were painting over it. I’m glad you did it!

  3. Matt Maresca says:

    This is awesome Jonathan! I’ve been toying with a few ideas for a more visual blog myself. Just imagining what was going through the minds of the artists who created these is an amazing journey. Very much appreciative of the effort in putting this together for us. Look forward to the rest!

  4. Wowza! Beautiful, amazing, creative talent. What a loss. Grateful for you capturing it and sharing.

  5. Jonathan,

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I really enjoyed the post and the pictures. I found it particularly heartbreaking to read that they white-washed the whole thing. What’s wrong with people? It just made me sad. So I am so glad that you shared these photos with us while the art was extant. And again your website is just breathtaking.

    Blessings to you and yours this holiday season.

    Maitri Libellule

  6. Jonathan….this is so awesome you put yourself out there and shared your photography. You are a multi-talented human for sure. Love love love this post!

  7. Jes says:

    It’s great to see these pictures preserved! One of my favorite things about taking the subway into queens was riding past this building (and those surrounding it).

    It’s truly a shame it’s gone, though I can’t completely fault the owner for wanting to utilize his property… And since the change I’ve seen a lot more art in other parts of the city which is nice! Maybe this is just the inciting incident to expansion?

    Jes @ JesWithOneS.com

  8. Kellie Brooks says:

    Jonathan,
    All art should be public, and despite the sadness about this building’s story, I’m glad you captured what’s so ephemeral and renegade about street art. Love this new channel of yours…

  9. Patty Gordon says:

    These photos made my day – thanks, JF, for capturing them. Especially love the one with the human touch included!

  10. Becky Sangha says:

    Jonathan,

    Thanks for keeping these images and sharing with those of us who did not get the chance to see them in person.

    You captured them beautifully!

  11. Kim says:

    Jonathan,
    I had no idea what the artwork at 5Pointz looked like, although I had heard about it before the whitewashing. What a loss! Thank you for sharing.

  12. karla Jackson says:

    These are beautiful. Your photos of the isolated images within the larger canvas, allow one to see the amazing detailed artistry involved in this art form. Wonderful talent.

  13. Mitchel says:

    Amazing and inspirational images showcasing a unique brand of talent. Thanks for putting this out there.

  14. I was JUST talking with a friend who was telling me this story of the artwork being covered up. I am so happy to have the chance to see the work, what beautiful pieces and I love how you’ve captured them. My fave of course includes Jesse!
    Hugs and love,
    Robin

  15. So sad it’s all gone now. I love the image with your daughter standing on the hand – it gives a sense of the scale which is huge 🙂

  16. Dan says:

    Wow! Beautiful creations. Thanks for capturing and sharing!

  17. graham caswell says:

    I hope the whole building surface is documented inside and out. It could be digitally stitched and printed to make a scale “art-chitectural” model of the building in it’s glory.

  18. Nancie says:

    Phenomeonal work, and heartening that it will live on in photographs.

  19. Bill Denyer says:

    Love sharing your perception.

    I do believe in the opposite of WYSIWYG – “What you get is what you SEE”!

    Thanks and keep them coming…

  20. Thank you so much for these photographs Jonathan. They are among the best I’ve seen capturing this temporary gallery of work by these incredibly talented artists.
    The owner of this property must be commended as well for his years of understanding the importance of this work, and allowing artists to continue to express themselves.Many others turn these decaying artifacts of a more prosperous time in american industry into piles of ruble with a chain link fence around it.
    So depressing to the spirit to view piles of brick instead of walls and windows of color and imagination.
    Looking forward to more on this subject Jonathan, and thanks again.

  21. Greg says:

    Nice shooting! Very impressive work, both your photography and the street art.

  22. Tracy says:

    wow………breathtaking! thank you

  23. Oh NO!!! I can’t stand the thought of them losing that battle. What a horrible thing for them to whitewash the building. DANG! DANG! DOUBLE DANG!
    I swear, I just saw 5pointz in a movie and I thought, YES!, they are still getting location fees and so their funding continues…good for them!

    I have some great memories of our time there during GLP 2012 and luckily have my photos preserved from that day – at sunset – overlooking the city. What a wonderful cap of our first weekend together. Thank you for that gift – I will never forget it.

  24. Great photo’s. While sad, I guess I must be becoming a little old school (old skool) as I remember the days that street art first hit as a visual “mouth” piece born out of the social change and music of that time. It was and still is a beautiful art form but the draw to me back then was that it was always meant to be temporarily placed loud and proud on inanimate objects that would be moved, torn down or painted over by the local authorities. Your pictures reflect the real essence of the art that hopefully should inspire more hands to create new art works that are inspired by the minds of those who view them.

  25. Awesome, Jonathan–so glad you captured these remarkable images. I learned about (and sorta saw) 5Pointz via the recent movie “Now You See Me” (a very fun romp, incidentally), and I’m sad to learn it’s been whitewashed…but happy to see these glimpses from your POV.

  26. Susan Kuhn says:

    What would be interesting is to preserve this art in the new construction. This could come in the form of a show of your photos; ideally gladly shown in the new hotel, or nearby…or guerrilla style, projected larger than life onto the facade of the building.

    It’s too bad it often comes to this in development battles, each group rejecting the other rather than finding some way to coexist.

  27. Jennifer Herrera says:

    Jonathan – these are fantastic! This could be a very cool place to lead workshops in – the color, craft, creativity, and magnificence could inspire any heart!!

    Thank you!

  28. Budda12ax7 says:

    Are these pictures public domain? Curious, many would make fantastic cd artwork for a few music genre’s. Small Stone Records come a knocking?

  29. Sohil Memon says:

    Hey Jonathan, I must say, you have an amazing eyes! These photos just look like they are breathing and eye-catching too. Thanks for sharing with us man!