Jan. 12, 2015 By Michael Florio
A number of artists who put the 5Pointz graffiti Mecca on the map have come together to deny the controversial developer from trade marking the 5Pointz name.
Jonathan Cohen, a graffiti artist know as “Meres One,” started a petition in an attempt to deny the developer from using the name to market his apartment buildings in the “graveyard” of the graffiti Mecca.
Jerry Wolkoff, owner of 5Pointz, is just days away from completely demolishing the structure, clearing the way for two high-rise apartment towers, one 47 stories and the other 41, containing nearly 1,000 units. The project will have 50,000 square feet of commercial space, 12,000 square feet for artist studios and will include a public park.
Wolkoff plans to use the 5Pointz name, and his company G&M Realty has filed an application to trademark it.
The petition, which sets out to prevent the name from being used on the towers, set its goal at 2,000 signatures. Currently, it has over 1,800 signatures.
Jose Fernandez, a Woodside resident wrote on the petition: “They purchased the property, not the history.” Meanwhile, Orestes Gonzalez from Long Island City, wrote, “You can’t market a name that does not morally belong to you.”
On the petition, Cohen writes that he was given full curatorial and operational control in 2002, allowing aerosol and street artist to come paint on the 200,000 square foot building turned canvas, without repercussions. He writes that he thought up the name 5Pointz.
However, Wolkoff claims that he and Cohen both collaborated on the name.
“Do you think I would just let any name go up on my building?” Wolkoff said in November.
Wolkoff said that Meres used to walk around 5Pointz thinking it was his building—particularly after he announced his plan to develop the property.
“I gave him permission to use it for all these years…and he would work with artists,” Wolkoff said in November. “But the property was always mine to develop and deep down Meres and his crew knew that.”
While Wolkoff knows some of the artists will always criticize him, he hopes that will change once the two towers are completed and he invites the street artists back to display their work.
Wolkoff’s application for the 5Pointz name with the US Patent and Trademark Office was turned down on Jan. 6 because it was too similar to the moniker of California real estate company. He has six months to respond or appeal the decision.