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LIC restaurant pays tribute to 5 Pointz artists

John Brown mural

John Brown mural

Aug. 4, 2013 By Bill Parry

The embattled graffiti artists of 5 Pointz have found a new home for their work, although on a much smaller scale.

John Brown Smokehouse, located at 10-43 44 Dr., has collaborated with 5 Pointz to create a mural on the back wall of the restaurant’s patio.

The mural is a depiction of John Brown’s walk to the gallows after the abolitionist was sentenced to death after an anti-slavery raid in 1859. The artists finished the project in just four hours, and a time lapse video of the project has created a buzz on YouTube.

“We’re like 5 Pointz West,” said Joshua Bowen, the owner of John Brown Smokehouse. “We did it to promote the arts in LIC and to honor the struggle the artists are facing in their battle against the developers.”

The owners of 5 Pointz, the Wolkoff family, have plans to tear down the graffiti-covered warehouse complex at 45-46 Davis St. and replace it with two residential towers, comprised of 1,000 units.

Bowen was asked if he would be willing to include the graffiti on his property by 5 Pointz advocates.

“I asked him [Bowen] if he wanted to make such a statement, considering how local politicians have aligned against us [saving 5 Pointz],” said Marie Cecile Flageul, the 5 Pointz community relations director.

Flageul said that the attention that the John Brown project has already drawn might help in their public battle to save 5 Pointz from demolition.

Bowen has seen the mural create a buzz with his customers, especially out-of-town visitors from the Dutch Kills hotels. “It’s become quite a conversation piece.  Visitors ask about it and we send them on down to 5 Pointz,” Bowen said.

Bowen likes the artwork so much that he has plans for the artists to paint two other walls.

A grateful Flageul said: “We can look at this as a tribute or a gravesite.”

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