The Real Deal New York

Graffiti artists seek damages from 5Pointz whitewash

They claim they should have been allowed to retrieve their work

June 13, 2015 11:00AM

David and Jerry Wolkoff and a whitewashed 5Pointz

David Wolkoff and his father, Jerry Wolkoff, and a whitewashed 5Pointz

It’s been a year and a half since the Wolkoffs whitewashed 5Pointz, once NYC’s graffiti mecca. Now, the graffiti artists who lost their work are back in court, seeking unspecified damages.

Developers, 5Pointz owners and street art fans David and Jerry Wolkoff are being accused by nine well-known graffiti artists of breaking the law by painting over the artwork on his building. They claim that they should have been given time to retrieve their artwork, according to the New York Daily News.

Back in 2013, the artists sued to try and stop Wolkoff from tearing down the buildings in order to build a new luxury rental building — which will include space for graffiti art. Still, a Brooklyn Federal judge has noted that the artists could be owed damages if their graffiti works qualified for “recognized stature” under the U.S. Visual Artists Rights Acts.

“Our clients seek justice for the unlawful destruction of their artwork. This case will demonstrate that these cherished works of art must be protected to the fullest extent of the law,” said attorney Eric Baum of Eisenberg & Baum. [NYDN]Christopher Cameron