Jonathan Cohen, better known by his “tag” Meres One, is a freelance artist whose work has brought him much success and fame. His clientele include sports teams and banks, and his works have been featured in music videos, newspapers, and galleries. In 1993, Cohen approached Jerry Wolkoff and asked for permission to use the outside of his warehouse complex to showcase artwork. Wolkoff agreed, and thus 5Pointz, which The New York Times penned as a “Graffiti Mecca,” was born. As the embodiment of a controversial art form typically associated with vandalism, crime, and disjointedness, 5Pointz managed to defy traditional stereotypes. The media, artists, and observers alike have defined the buildings and the art as a type of ‘community,’ one that broke from traditional notions of solitariness that are typical in graffiti and street art culture. Its very name, signifying the coming together of New York’s extremely diverse and sometimes conflicted five boroughs, promotes the aspects of inclusiveness, community, and cohesiveness that have transformed street art in recent years.
This post was originally published on the Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal website on March 21, 2017. The original post can be accessed via the Archived Link button above.
Soloff, Sophia, "What Was 5Pointz and What Does It Mean For the Visual Artists Rights Act?" (2017). AELJ Blog. 156.