Thursday, November 21, 2013

Torture before murder - the death of living art

 Monday morning I woke up early with the intent of transcribing an interview done with a very bright spirited artist, instead I'm writing an obituary.  According to a series of tweets from Jonathan Cohen/Meres One, the present owners of the warehouse complex in Long Island City found a way to kill dreams and spirits.  With a whole lot of white paint and apparently an equal amount of police protection, 5 Pointz was beaten and stripped, left for dead.  Meres says that this morning all the exterior walls are stark white.

Dear Goddess I wish I had the money to pack my bags and move to Europe.  If I hear one more "patriot", "real American" aka Redneck asshole yell "We're number one" while fist pumping, I think I'm going to resort to physical violence.  For sure I will reply "No! No we're not! At least as long as jerks like you and corporate money grabbers are steering the culture of this country.  It's interesting, when I interviewed an Eastern European street artist, he reminded me that graffiti as art is one of the few things that the United States can claim as native culture (post Caucasian arrival).  Street painting was born here.  But just like our great music of the last thirty or so years, artists have to take it overseas for it to be appreciated.  

Dear skin heads, red necks, pearl clutchers, Tea Partiers, "middle America" what is your thing with wanting a country full of boring architecture, giant chain discount stores, awful music, cheesy movies and complete disinterest in visual art?  You want all women still dressed like June Cleaver and all males are supposed to be dude bro, knuckledraggers who drink lousy, corporately brewed beer while yelling at some sport on TV every weekend?  You find it revolting if a man chooses a career in the arts or sciences.  Most of you never travel beyond the borders of your states.  If you do go to New York, Boston or L.A., you wander around with your mouths open only visiting the tourist traps.  You take in the Broadway show that is getting the most media attention.  Do you know there is something called "off-Broadway"?  Did you know not all plays are musicals?  Have you ever taken yourself downtown and checked out all the cool boutiques, gardens and galleries?  Of course not. You all bolt for the closest chain restaurant because it's safe while mom & pop eateries that make superior, more creative food are suffering. You have no idea what the true personality of any of these cities are.  None at all. 

Gods forbid you would ever travel abroad.  Did you know that most European and Japanese kids have passports before they are old enough to walk?  In the U.S. most of us will die without ever having a passport.  

Safe is boring.  Safe does not expand your mind.  You will die only slightly more educated than when you were born.  The truth is is that you're too scared of truth and progress.  Corporations and big money keep you that way and you like it.  It's too easy to sit on the couch, in your safe little house and bitch and moan about all the horrible people in America...all the people who aren't just like you.  Did you know that your "god", my Divine Creator, made each and every one of us different for a reason and it wasn't to make yourself feel better by putting someone else down.  Yes, street artists are different from you.  Most of them work at night.  They can't take safety measures because people like you parrot the "its vandalism" song.  But their art is that important to them, needs to get out of them that bad that they are willing to risk their lives to paint.  I pray every day that corporations don't succeed in turning this country into a bunch of wooden, glass and steel boxes.  The more they can keep things the same, the safer you feel while they take over your life, your country.  You left your balls back in the 60's.  

So last night your apathy and fear resulted in the death of probably the only living aerosol gallery in the country.  With police protection but no permits, the owners of 5 Pointz renigged on their invitation to street artists again all for the all mighty dollar.  The steel and glass towers that will be built are just more of the "gentrification" of New York City. In the beginning, giving NYC a make-over consisted of try to hang onto to some of it's old beauty-sandblasting and renovating brownstones and other historic structures.  But not it just seems to be more and more homogenizing, tear down and put up more gray boxes.  This project is not only not necessary but more of the stripping away of New York City's heart and making it look like every place.  At least my son and I have our visit to 5 Pointz to carry in our hearts forever and also have many photos.  But future generations won't have that.  I hope the people who manage the street art project in Little Italy can provide spaces for more artists and other building owners around the five boroughs will open their walls to these painters and writers.  Our children, their children and on and on NEED art.  It is part of what makes us human.  It is our very souls in a tangible form that we share with the world.  Rest In Peace 5 Pointz.  You were a strong and beautiful being.  I am honored to have gotten to know you and will miss you dearly.   

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