“A cornerstone of the culture” is how Charm, a Brooklyn-based DJ-turned-artist, described 5 Pointz in 2011. And three years later, as we look back at this fall’s closing of the world’s premiere “graffiti Mecca,” it’s hard to find a more apt description.
Long before Illmatic, Nas was just a kid growing up in the Queensbridge Houses of Long Island City, inspired by the rapidly changing world around him. The five-story, block-long industrial complex at Jackson Avenue and Davis Street known as 5 Pointz—signifying the five boroughs coming together as one—was just around the block. While graffiti didn’t start showing up on the warehouse until ’93, it was in lockstep with the release of Illmatic in ’94.
Since then, spectators have come from around the globe to observe the walls of the 200,000-square-foot building, while aerosol artists have made pilgrimage to add to them. So as 2014 wraps to a close, take a ride through 5 Pointz with us, and see how the worlds of art, music, and culture collide.
Note: Hover over the image and click around to go on the ride through 5 Pointz.