5 Pointz is considered to be the world’s premiere “holy land of graffiti,” where aerosol artists from around the globe paint on the walls of a 200,000-square-foot factory building. - Photos by AFP
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. One of the first graffiti there was a portrait of Jam-Master Jay, an important member of the early hip hop musical style.
A view of the outdoor graffiti art exhibit 5 Pointz August 15, 2012 in Long Island City, New York.
The name 5 Pointz 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.
In April 2009 the New York City Buildings department ordered the largest building closed after citing it for numerous building deficiencies including the studio partitions were built without permits.
The complex was first established as the Phun Phactory in 1993 by Pat DiLillo under a program called Graffiti Terminators to discourage graffiti vandalism by encouraging artists to display their work in a formal showcase.
It was announced in March 2011 that Wolkoff plans to redevelop the property to build high-rise residential towers, putting the future of 5 Pointz in jeopardy.