5Pointz: The Institute of Higher Burning
5Pointz Aerosol Art Center, Inc. is an outdoor art exhibit space in Long Island City, New York, considered to be the world’s premiere “graffiti Mecca,” where aerosol artists from around the globe paint colorful pieces on the walls of a 200,000-square-foot factory building.
The name 5Pointz signifies the five boroughs coming together as one but, because of its reputation as an epicenter of the graffiti scene, the industrial complex has actually united aerosol artists from across the world. Legendary writers from Canada, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Japan, Brazil, and all over the United States have painted on the building walls, including Stay High 149, Tracy 168, Cope2, Part, and Tats Cru.
Over the past decade, the striking, graffiti-covered warehouse has attracted several hip-hop and R&B stars, including Doug E. Fresh, Kurtis Blow, Grandmaster Kaz, Mobb Deep, Rahzel, DJ JS-1, Boot Camp Clik, Joan Jett, and Joss Stone.
On any given day, 5Pointz visitors can expect to find prominent artists, musicians, deejays, Emcees (rappers), and B-boys (break dancers) on site, in addition to filmmakers, photographers, and entire tour buses full of admirers soaking in the more than 350 Technicolor murals.
The gallery curator is graffiti veteran Jonathan Cohen, best known by his signature tag, “Meres One.” His goal is to convert the five-story, block-long industrial complex at Jackson Avenue and Davis Street, formerly the Phun Phactory, into a graffiti art museum.
5Pointz gallery curator, Meres, plans to convert the five-story, block-long industrial complex at Jackson Avenue and Davis Street into a graffiti museum. He is currently seeking a 501(c)3 certification for 5Pointz to confer tax-exempt status and allow tax-deductible donations.
In addition, he plans to open a school for aspiring aerosol artists, complete with a formalized curriculum that imparts lessons in teamwork, art history, and entrepreneurship in addition to technique
ABOUT THE CURATOR “MERES ONE”
The founder of 5Pointz Aerosol Art Center, Inc. and curator of its outdoor gallery is graffiti veteran Jonathan Cohen, best known by his signature tag, “Meres One.” The Flushing native adopted his tag in his teenage years after determining that M, R, and E were his best calligraphic letters.
Meres took an interest in graffiti at the young age of 13 after seeing an aerosol-based painted Smurf on a wall and flipping through a few graffiti books, and started the The Deadly4Mula (TD4) crew five years later. By the mid-’90s, Meres had studied art at the Fashion Institute of Technology, sold a few paintings, and was transitioning his craft from tagging and throw-ups to piecing. He produced hundreds of aerosol art murals throughout all five New York boroughs, along the East Coast, and even in Holland.