He painted over graffiti on his own property.
NEW YORK (PNN) - February 14, 2018 - Ruling that graffiti - a typically transient form of art - was of sufficient stature to be protected by the law, a criminal federal judge in Brooklyn awarded an outrageous and unlawful judgment of $6.7 million on Monday to 21 criminal vandal graffiti artists whose illegal works were destroyed by the property owner whose property they vandalized in 2013 at the 5Pointz complex in Long Island City, Queens.
In November, landmark trial came to a close in Federal District Court in Brooklyn when a civil jury decided that Jerry Wolkoff, a real estate developer who owned 5Pointz, broke the law when he whitewashed dozens of swirling murals at the complex, obliterating what a lawyer for the artists had called “the world’s largest open-air aerosol museum.”
Though Wolkoff’s lawyers had argued that the buildings were his to treat as he pleased, the jury found he violated the Visual Artists Rights Act, or V.A.R.A., which has been used to protect public art of “recognized stature” created on someone’s else property.
In an odd legal twist, the judge at that trial, Frederic Block, altered the verdict at the 11th hour to make it merely a recommendation. But on Monday, Judge Block upheld the jury’s decision, and his ruling awarded the artists the maximum damages possible, saying that 45 of the dozens of ruined murals had enough artistic stature to merit being protected. The jury had found that only 36 of the works should be guarded under V.A.R.A.
“Artist Akiko Miyakami said that when she saw her artwork mutilated under a layer of white paint, according to a court document, she felt as though she ‘was raped,'” according to The Washington Post.
I distinctly remember as a youth that painting over other graffiti artists’ works was considered part of the art-form, which was viewed as “always evolving” and so on.
Ed. Note: It is the property owner who has been raped by these criminal vandals who are getting away with their outlaw ways under the current system of injustice. Hopefully this ridiculous and unlawful ruling will be overturned in a higher court, where property rights are still sometimes respected by Appeals and Supreme Court judges. Lower courts are known for being administered by fascist and socialist judges who give little or no regard to the constitutional guarantees of the right to property ownership. If someone desecrated my property with his “art”, I would not hesitate to destroy that desecration and I would refuse to pay the criminal vandals one red cent. Revolution Now! Independence Forever!