Under your leadership 5Pointz has evolved into an internationally acclaimed aerosol art Mecca. When did you first become involved in managing this space? And how did it happen?
It was back in 2002. I simply asked the landlord, Jerry Wolkoff, if I could, as the space had been neglected. And he agreed. He told me, in fact, that he loves graffiti.
What are some of your responsibilities? They seem immense!
I oversee security, maintain the space, give tours, plan events and arrange for artists – many visiting from other countries – to paint here.
What has been your greatest challenge?
It’s all about respect. Gaining respect from writers so that they don’t bomb the space and maintaining an environment that attracts serious piecers. And, of course, we need to continue to gain respect from the general community to continue doing what we do.
What has been your most memorable moment?
Drip, one of our youngest writers, was killed in a tragic accident five years ago. His family asked to have his memorial service here. It was one of the most emotional experiences I’ve had at 5Pointz.
There is much discussion these days regarding street art vs. graffiti. Both graff writers and street artists seem equally at home here at 5Pointz. Any thoughts about the distinction between the two?
Graff writers seem more concerned with style and letters, while street artists seem to focus more on concepts. I like them both. They complement each other.
What are some of your other interests?
Emceeing – for sure. I love every aspect of the culture.
What do you see as the future of 5Pointz?
More great events.
Is there anything we can do to make sure this happens?
Follow us on Time Out New York http://www.timeout.com/newyork/attractions/5pointz-aerosol-art-center and come to our events.
Interviewed by Lois Stavsky; photos by Lenny Collado, Dani Mozeson & Tara Murray