It was a very sad day for the street art world as news got around that Jerry Wolkoff spent the night painting over murals at 5 Pointz in Long Island City. There has been a widely publicized struggle to protect the artwork and the building from being demolished, but as the current owner of the property, Wolkoff took matters into his own hands following a judge's ruling that denied further protection for the art.
In an interview with the Daily Intelligencer, Wolkoff said that by painting over the art at night (with police protection), he felt he was doing "the right thing." He defended his actions by saying that "to watch the pieces go down piece by piece by piece would be torturous" and that he had tears in his eyes while he painted over them but it had to be done. When asked about the history he had erased, Wolkoff responded, "tell me what history I'm demolishing! Let's discuss this: They paint over their work continuously. It's nothing. A piece goes up, and six months later somebody else paints over it."
Wolkoff went on to call his critics and the artists who are upset about the death of 5 Pointz "misguided" but held that he thinks that they are "terrific" and that he would never say a bad word against them. Click here to read the full interview and see what else Jerry Wolkoff had to say about this tragic day in street art history.