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On November 16th, Hundreds of artists, performers and supporters of the long-embattled 5 Pointz studios gathered this weekend for a rally to prevent its upcoming demolition. Earlier this year, the New York City Planning Commission voted to allow developer David Wolkoff to build two residential towers and retail space on the site, a decision that 5 Pointz artists and supporters have been vigorously fighting.
While there was a noticeable NYPD presence, the rally felt at times more likely a block-party with supporters sharing drinks and stories as a DJ played against the graffiti covered backdrop. Several artists continued working through the party, selling shirts and paintings while trying to raise awareness for their situation. Curator Jonathan Cohen, who goes by the name Meres and has been one of the leading voices against the planned demolition, took to the mic asking that people stop talking about 5 Pointz destruction as if it were inevitable. "Trust me," he told the cheering crowd, "it's not over until I say it's over."
As supporters passed out forms to have the area considered as a historic landmark, some artists took a more fatalistic approach. One (who asked not to be named) simply said "Yeah...it'll be sad if it goes. I've worked here for years. But if it goes, we'll just have to find someplace else to paint."
ALL PHOTOS AND TEXT BY C.S. MUNCY
Published on November 18, 2013