Devils in Detail

Before gentrification transformed New York’s Long Island City there was an artist co-operative in a factory building along the elevated tracks of the number 7 train. In time the co-op, as well as the entire building became a mecca known as 5Pointz, a unifying symbol for street artists from around the world.

I spent the last year of its operation photographing there. I wasn’t interested in documenting the scene nor did I care for the masterpieces that covered its walls. Instead, I was interested in the “tags” scrawled nightly on every surface at the site’s periphery. Whereas the “pieces” were respected and never painted upon, the tags were violated with gusto until it was difficult distinguishing one from another. In the details of this colorful confusion there emerged spontaneous creations, each a product of many hands, as artful as any mid-twentieth century masterpiece by a god of abstract expressionism. 

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