Even though the once massive building known as 5Pointz has been completely demolished, the battle for its soul continues. Property owner Jerry Wolkoff is actively trying to call his soon-to-be-built condo complex 5Pointz and — after having attempted to trademark the name once already — has again tried and failed, reports the Daily News. This time around, he’s facing opposition not just from the U.S. Patent and Trademarks office, but the curator and founder of 5Pointz, Jonathan “MERES One” Cohen.
“It’s an insult,” said MERES to ANIMAL. “It’s like getting slapped in the face twice.”
Wolkoff contends that he came up with the moniker, a claim that MERES vehemently denies. “I came up with the name 5Pointz because it was an epicenter where artists from all five boroughs came to paint.” MERES, who has curated the space for over a decade, hopes to use the name for a future art collective. He has launched an online petition against the trademark attempt and has garnered over 2,000 signatures.
Wolkoff’s recent grab at the 5Pointz name seems even more slimy considering that, in a New York Times article from 2011, it sounded like Wolkoff was trying to distance himself from associating the condos with graffiti altogether:
There is no chance, he said, that the new project will be christened “Graffiti Towers.” He’s not that sentimental.
Since then, Wolkoff has announced that he plans to set aside a “rear wall” for aerosol artists to paint. According to DNAinfo, Wolkoff seems confident that once the condos are built, the artists will return:
He’ll be inviting artists back to work there once the project is complete, he said.
“It’s the building that was 5Pointz, and the artists are coming back,” he said. “It will be the same, bigger and better than it was before.”
But many people in the community think it’s a token gesture and don’t want anything to do with it. MERES, who strongly doubts Wolkoff’s claims, scoffed, “What artists?”
(Photo: Aymann Ismail/ANIMALNewYork)