A New York appeals court has upheld a ruling to pay a group of graffiti artists $6.7 million.
Developer Jerry Wolkoff asked the artists in 2002 to convert the dilapidated warehouses in Long Island City, Queens. The project became known as “5Pointz” and became a tourist attraction. From 1993 until 2013, graffiti artists were allowed to use the building as a canvas, but the owner got the city’s permission to tear 5Pointz down and build 800 luxury condos and 200 affordable units.
The artwork was “whitewashed” without warning to the artists, who sued because they were not given notice. The artists sued because they were not given notice.
A judge found the developer Violated the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990 which gives them rights over work even if it is not their property.