Tuesday, February 13, 2018
$6.7M awarded to 5 Pointz artists by federal judge
A New York judge has awarded $6.7 million to graffiti artists who sued after their work was destroyed on buildings torn down to make room for luxury condos.
Federal Judge Frederic Block in Brooklyn noted Monday there was no remorse from the owner of the warehouse buildings. Long Island Developer Jerry Wolkoff allowed the painting for decades on the property.
In November 2017 during a three-week trial, twenty-one aerosol artists sued the owner of a Long Island City, Queens site known as 5Pointz.
The case was based on the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990. That federal law allows artists "to prevent any destruction of a work of recognized stature, and any intentional or grossly negligent destruction of that work"
The judge said he would not have assessed so much in damages if the owner had awaited his permits and demolished the art 10 months later than he did. Wolkoff ordered crews to whitewash the building one night. Wolkoff tells PIX11 News he plans to appeal the ruling.
Block said he hoped the award would give teeth to a federal law that should have kept Wolkoff from demolishing them for at least 10 months, when he had all his permits.
Artists then could have easily rescued some paintings from siding, plywood or sheet-rock before the rollers, spray machines and buckets of white paint arrived.
"Wolkoff has been singularly unrepentant. He was given multiple opportunities to admit the whitewashing was a mistake, show remorse, or suggest he would do things differently if he had another chance," Block said.
"Wolkoff could care less. As he callously testified," the judge said. "The sloppy, half-hearted nature of the whitewashing left the works easily visible under thin layers of cheap, white paint, reminding the plaintiffs on a daily basis what had happened. The mutilated works were visible by millions of people on the passing 7 train."
Posted by Queens Crapper at 2:04 AM
Labels: 5 pointz, artists, jerry wolkoff, lawsuit
"Artists then could have easily rescued some paintings from siding, plywood or sheet-rock..."
"Easily"? Explain how that would have happened. Looks like much of the "art" was sprayed on bricks.
And how do the sprayers divvy up the 6+ million bucks if Wolkoff loses the appeal?
They divide the money evenly.
Much of the rear building was metal and wood, easily removed.
There's no defending Wolkoff. The man is a complete asshole who paid off JVB so he could demo what should have been a landmarked set of buildings. Instead the community lost its biggest tourist attraction, and a building that could have hosted a desperately needed school.
Now Wolkoff is trying to copyright the 5ptz name and use it on his new buildings, further robbing the artists who gave it that name.
Fuck that guy and anyone who supports him.
private property is private property, judge is over reaching.
Sometimes the good you do will do you no good.
Judge is crazy and needs to be removed. This sets a really bad precursor.
Perhaps one can take a big "dump" on the judges lawn call it art then sue him.
This "mess" was nothing more then graffiti on a private building!! I saw from the 7 train a good 90% of this graffiti was spayed on bricks, cinderblock and tar paper and without question could not be re-located without removing huge sections of outer wall supporting structure from the building.
Remember this was a factory with open floors, the load bearing was on the outside.
Typical stupid judge & hostility at NYC landlords
this building was an eyesore, and over reaching is an excellent way to describe it. same with calling what was defacing that building as "art"
For what reason is the use of the word "artist"?
To project a sense of status, recognition and standing.
Another subtle bias.
These are VANDALS, destroying other peoples private property!
Just common VANDALS and nothing more!!!
It would have cost Wolcoff perhaps 20-30X this penalty to keep this building another 10 months let alone years, when you count all the "stays" and "stops" other stupid judges would have given the vandals.
That 10 month "stay of demolition" would have become over 3 years !!
Im sure this guy Wolcoff and his lawyers saw this BS coming and had no choice.
BTW that article is a friggan joke for calling homeless vandals from all over the world and country "artists' because that building and all the colors & cryptic blob lettering looked like the biggest mountain of bird shit on the planet.
So if a Graffiti "Artist" tags a subway car and the MTA removes it, the Artist can sue?
"So if a Graffiti "Artist" tags a subway car and the MTA removes it, the Artist can sue?"
I don't think so, not when its city property and the work wasn't "commissioned"
Wolcoff made a fatal mistake by inviting & encouraging these assholes to come here and make this mess. I guess the judge somehow viewed that as "commissioning" and in this city all the judges hate private property and owners to start with.
The judge used Wilcoffs own gasoline to burn him with.
By default Judges in this city will give the assholes and tweeded every 5th, 6th 7th 8th last chance in the book to start with let alone some stupid devoid of spec vague gray art law.
Guaranteed that eyesore would still be standing today and filled with squatters refusing to leave had Wolcoff not moved on his own.
I don't like Wolcoff but I truly believe he was being railroaded and had no choice.
THIS WAS PRIVATE PROPERTY in NYC not Germany 1943
Ignorant whelp! Tagging a subway car is illegal. 5 Pointz was a permission site. It was legal to paint there. The owner was required by federal law to allow 90 days for the documentation for the removal of the art on the building. Instead, he chose to vandalize...,WHITEWASH.... the art at 3:00 AM like a common graffiti vandal! Capeesh, goombah, or are you still too dense to comprehend the difference?
Hmmmm....a lot of Wolkoff and developer trolls posting here. It's obvious!
A bunch of ignorant butt holes posting who wouldn't know art of it were rammed up
their assed like a suppository!
What can you expect. These are Queens ""intellectuals". LOL!
Why bring in the NRA reference....ninny racist asshole?
You guys realize that these artists all had permission to put their art up there?
This is like a museum owner demolishing the museum in the middle of the night, with all the paintings inside.
I have a lot of sympathy for Wickoff, who brought the building when times were bad, held on to it for decades, and let graffiti vandals and artists slowly turn it into a work of art. But he should have given the artists a chance to remove their work before destroying it.
Can you imagine how many people will now be spray painting other people's properties, hoping to sue once the owners remove it.
""Much of the rear building was metal and wood, easily removed""
That's 100% Bullshit !
I'm an engineer who had to look at the crap for years from the train
It was windows, capping, skylight fixture, brick and failing fire escape structure that would have killed somebody who tried to remove anything.
There was no way to save all that applied spray paint unless you scaffolds the whole building and removed & cataloged piece with a dental pick. It taken over 25 years !
The cost, tax and financial loss would be astronomic and that's if the building didn't kill you first.
The judge is a complete imbecile.
Look at the bright side. This is an eyesore nip in the bud for millions of people.
Thanks to these vandals, vagrants and jackass judge no landlord will ever again allow "art" on their private walls, doors and windows and we wont have to see the garbage. --And that will be nation wide coast to coast.
Similarly, empty lot owners will stop letting them be used as temporary parks, gardens as they will be sued when it comes time to sell or develop.
Unless of course some shit city official panders to lowest constituency and demands subsidized housing in the site.
welcome to world of communism where murders, charlatans, illegals and all the scumbags of the planet get rewarded because of the crony stupidity of those who voted communists in the office since 2009..
The judge was probably a graffiti "artist" at one time or he would have never ruled in this manner. So illogical and insane
What a crock of dung this city has become and our tax dollars are spent on incompetency. I want a refund !
One word - Sickening !!!!
It never was "art".
It was illustration.
The building owner was nice enough to let the graffiti artists have a place that they could do their work and have it displayed and he gets kicked in the ass.The artists know when you do something on a building someone can come along and paint right over it, what's to stop them? If they wanted their work preserved they should have painted on their own property. Hope the owner wins in the appeal.
Whether it was art or illustration FEDERAL LAW was broken. Do you approve law breaking , muttonhead? WTF do you do George besides your cryptic bellyaching?
Define art....pompous ass!
I was in court following the case. Wolkoff behaved like a spoiled despot who had no
shred of respect for the court, justice system or proceedure, or people in general. A gross slumlord tyrant deserves a good bitch slapping up the side of the face. AND HE GOT IT WHERE IT COUNTS....IN HIS WALLET! Bravo to the jury and Judge Block!
You have set a good example for what happens to raging rapacious lawbreakers!
Case law has been made that will serve to deter other criminals! Yes....criminals!
Incompetent judge? That "incompetent" judge put John Gotti's brother in prison! What do you do for a living?
>implying illustration isn't a form of art
Doubtful Wolkoff can overturn the verdict in an appeal. Judge Block took months to write a concise boilerplate ruling (about 100 pages). He is a well respected fair minded judge. What can be said of a scum sucking landlord like Wolkoff....whose criminal neglect of his building led to the death of one of his renters. His son David will have less of an inheritance after dad has to pay out.
Justice has been
Served well. Thank you Judge Block! And fuck you REBNY trolls and various haters!
Ha ha ha!
Wolkoff got it up the tookas!
He also had to borrow $300,000,000 from the Bank of The Ozarks to complete his towers. I'd say he's hanging on by his teeth and might flip the property.
Google Wolkoff Pilgrim State and find out what a real douche bag he is.
1) The artists had a right to preserve their work and reap revenue of their I.P. rights because they entered into legal agreements with Wolkoff in good faith which include by law a grace period after notice to demolish.
2) Wolkoff had a right to demolish the building by law, PENDING THAT TIME PASSING. He didn't wait, so now he owes damages for not doing so.
Why do you so many of you have a problem maintaining these two concepts in your head at once? A lot of you are old enough to have been educated in NYC schools before they went down hill.
Judge Block putting John Gotti's brother Peter in prison was a huge misjudgment. Without Gotti around the neighborhood shortly turned to total shit, people renting to slobs, garbage, MS-13 etc
Of course Judge Block always likes shit and sides with shit, after all he was hand picked and appointed by his personal friends the Clinton's. -not on merit.
This ruling will be tossed out on appeal because both judge Brock and all those minority landlord hating jurors ruled on opinion and personal hate -not law.
I have zero respect for the stupid no good activist judge overstepping his ground (that shit was not art and these vandals did not have a pot to piss in to pay for removal in a way the building didn't kill anybody in the process)
The building was to dangerous to have so called "artists" running around with crowbars, jackhammars & ladders. The judge had a personal beef with Wilcoff and didn't run the case on law, didn't wanna hear technical evidence, only the word of some so called "artists" and art activists to determine this pile of shit was ""recognized stature""
"recognized stature" is determined in the eye of the people who live here and have to look at it NOT some squatters from California, NOT some judge from Chappaqua squatters and other outsiders. This pile of shit was not "recognized stature" not "art" nor protected by freedom of speech or expression.
Im sure the next court will see it that way also. The same shit happened to Larry Flynt back in the 1980s. Wilcoff will no doubt countersue when he wins.
Queensites can't fart and chew gum at the same time that's why they can't balance two concepts of the law at the same time. Knuckleheads can't think!
"artists had a right to preserve their work and reap revenue of their I.P. rights
Who the hell wa sthis judge and bunch of vandals that dont even live here to determing if that was art or not"
If the judges ruling was wrong and out of bounds in the first place Wilcoff had the right. Another court will likely find exactly that.
Who the hell was some rogue judge, squatters & slobs who dont even live here to decide if that pile-o-shit was "significant art" or not art.
Everybody I know called it GARBAGE and worse things. The way I see the inner city vandals has no I.P. rights to start with because that rogue judge overstepped his bounds with the preceding stay of demolition.
Was the judge a structural engineer too, if so he should have additionally known removing that garbage from that crumbling building, failed fire escape, rusted & painted closed windows would have placed those "artists" 7-train, neighbors and fire dept in grave danger and landlord libel for huge lawsuits.
This was a stupid rogue activist judge on some stupid personal agenda.
A SMARTER court and judge will now decide
Wasn't even "illustration" but comic book level doodling.
George gets off on being the comic king of cyberspace comics. Get a job, by George!
Oh George....go pull somebody else's chain. We ain't biting. Bottom line:
You are a verbose bore! Your visage poised on a promontory says it all..,,NARCICIST!
>Wasn't even "illustration" but comic book level doodling.
Are you claiming comic book artwork somehow isn't art?
"You are a verbose bore!"
George "verbose"? Look at the above commentary. He has the most succinct wordage.
Oh.....blow it out your butt, George. You REALLY DO have quite a high opinion of yourself that few share. Socrates etc. you are not...just a pompous cyber BORE! Too much time on your hands. Get a job!
Leave George alone. He's a cyber comment addict. The more you refer to him the more he has to counter argue. The best way to discourage a wannabe principal actor is to deny him an interested audience.
We all agree with George's point: those pictures were not Art - with a capital "A"- but art with a small "a" as indeed in illustration.
Oops....it looks like that last post is really George....incognito. Really! Not art with a capital "A"! Downright unworldly knucklehead getting off posting.....whoever you are!
It's "et al" not et alia, dummy. Stop trying to fake your "scholarly" Latin.
Enough of this BS!
Great! We go from alley Katz to Jimmy one note gay rights beep.
"It's "et al" not et alia, dummy. Stop trying to fake your "scholarly" Latin."
Looks like you're the dummy (homo stultus). "Et al." - note the correct use with a period - is the abbreviation for "et alia". Just like "etc." is the abbreviation for "et cetera".
A Cicero you are certainly not....just a full of him (or her) self cyber soapbox heckler.
(This has got to be George....with all of his flowery language hallmarks). LMAO!
Perhaps your ambition is speaker's corner in Hyde Park, London. I've listened to far better there.
Too many people here living vicariously online...with too much time on their hands....possibly unemployed, marginally employed, or retired into dotage.
Armchair complainers and critics RARELY get up off their asses and actually become active doing something constructive.
Unlike many of you BLABBERMOUTHS...I AM A REAL ACTIVIST.....producing results. Talk is cheap. Action costs!
My respect to the Latin lover of himself for the Et al correction. BIG DEAL! You strike me still as an art ignorant country bumpkin!
To my many fans, I leave you with this.
Truman Capote once referred to the written output of Jack Kerouac and the Beats:
"That's not writing. It's typing."
Similarly, 5 Pointz was not Art. It was doodling and illustration.
But you Real Activist Homo Stultus - et alia - can enjoy my magnanimity and have the last word if you wish . . . 'cuz I'm outta this post. See yas on the other side.
Think on this:
John Paulson , a one time Queens resident,
had such little respect for Queensites to appreciate or understand its own art architecture or parks.....gave one hundred million dollars to the Central Park Conservancy....rather than see it wasted on Queens' Phillestines. It serves you provincial dopes right!
"That's not writing. It's typing".
We believe Capote's comment was regarding the writings of Jaqueline Suzanne, not Kerouac.....although it might apply to
him as well. However, one can excuse the lack of accurate info published on line.
Magnanimous George might be ending his posting here but , most assuredly, he will be following this subject to the end. An addict is an addict even in cyberspace.
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