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BrooklynBornThis blog started in my head when I listened in the 90's to friends who feared Brooklyn and newcomers who blogged about BK as if it barely existed before they arrived. Brooklyn as Tabula Rasa. My blog satisfies my need to hear and air feelings of B'klyn from the people whose life experience was born here. Also I hope to provide balance to some of the revisionist historical musings I've seen how Brooklyn and her residents used to be, we're still here. If we can all live as best possible while appreciating the past and neighbors we've inherited that would be great too.

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The End of 5Ptz, a vibrant piece of New York City

I've been wanting to post about last month's Banksy NYC residency and it's impact, but life happened as it does, and then this happened.


(all photographs by Tiernan Morgan for Hyperallergic

EVIL. i dislike when "evil" is tossed around as a cause or a label, but this is straight evil, malicious, petty, intended to do nothing really more than wound and disrespect. The 5ptz building, which most of you know is an otherwise unremarkable industrial building at LIC Queen's eastern edge, made otherworldly and beautiful by the artwork it's been dressed in for over a decade has been defiled by it's owners who last night sent in workers to cruelly paint over as much of the artwork, as they could.


(all photographs by Tiernan Morgan for Hyperallergic

The owners recently won the right, after many appeals, to turn the land into a new development. The plans they show, make no usage of the existing structure, so why paint over this building that is scheduled to be torn down? They did it simply to be evil soulless monsters.

(all photographs by Tiernan Morgan for Hyperallergic

The buffing and over painting in this way is a physical, premeditated undeniable attack on art, which is an attack on the human heart. And why? To prove ownership? To forcibly demonstrate power to Meres who has been custodian and curator of the building and leader of the fight to preserve it as artists mecca and landmark? Did they cover the art to look away from the artists who've committed beauty to modern blight? Or are they like Oedipus realizing that they've screwed that which put them on the map and made the building (and to a large degree the neighborhood) a place where people would even consider WANTING to be? Did the fight over the right to make statements with paint leave them secretly longing to up their own sloppy tag, to say "fuck you we're somebody too" and at the same time physically blind themselves to the art that birthed their opportunity, attempting blind us in the process along with them?

Who cares their motivation, my desire to know why doesn't explain or excuse their desire to obscure creation, expression from the public space and the lotus-esque ways in which our spirits rebirth value out of human despair. 

I can't help but recall the transition of 11 Spring in Soho from public graf board and tag mecca to it's current luxury condo status.  I shot and produced a simple video with the help and support of Marc Schiller and the Wooster Collective, interviewing the artists and talking about the significance of that building. The owners sought out Marc to invite artists to tag up 11 Spring, dozens of them, each with their own styles, background, celebrity levels and politics were granted the time to demonstrate what that building had become, there public came, a moment was made and I believe the value of art it's inspiration to commerce were reinforced in an enriching experience. Granted there many were differences of opinion at 11 Spring, but ultimately recognition was given to the place art had made in giving that building such value that it was able to capitalize monetarily and as a result take what had become a public space for the exchange of ideas and friendships and political and personal discontent, through art, away from the public. New York City has always been a confluence of commerce, since the native Lenape came down to the rivers to trade, but there a ways to do business on a human level that add value to the transaction and the active. 

Disrespect is not only evil, it's unnecessary. 


So I'm hoping we all keep our eyes and ears open for how we as intentional and accidental members of this moment's nyc artistic community respond and when necessary participate in response to the evil disrespect of human heart that took place last night at 5Ptz.