Traveling to Queens from Manhattan on the 7 train, you’ve probably seen this large warehouse completely covered in graffiti. To on-lookers, the four story block-long structure may be an eyesore, with its yellow façade falling victim to vandals. From a distance, a developer’s plan to knock down the century old building to make way for two residential high rises seems justified. When you look closer at the building, however, you see colorful murals created out of spray-paint and stencil. This building known as 5 Pointz is a place for graffiti artists to hone in their craft; where they’re allowed to paint on the four story walls. Known as the mecca of graffiti art, it would be a shame to see 5 Pointz sacrificed for a redundant tower that will house over-priced restaurants and snooty shops, many of which have dotted the East River over the past five years.
Like the colors of oil in pooled street water, New York City artists bring a beauty to a city that city dwellers so many times overlook. There is a magic that lingers just under the city’s smog. Sprinkling itself on the dreamers that believe in New York City anyone can be anything. Those artists who are immersed in the magic of New York can testify that developing an art that rises above the city’s millions can prove a difficult task. But such is the beauty about New York. In such a concentrated area of inhabitants living one on top of another, the known and the unknown artists can one day find a platform for their medium.
Stephen Wiltshire climbed into a helicopter and took a twenty-minute ride over Manhattan’s historic skyline. From those twenty minutes, Wiltshire began producing an 18ft sketch referring only to his memory. Diagnosed with autism at an early age, Wiltshire found that he communicated best with pictures.