Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Bisc1: 5 Pointz Pioneer, a Generations Worth of Art and Music

By Madame Margherite

5 Pointz pioneer, Bisc1, also known as Bisco Smith has executed all aspects of Hip-Hop culture: throwing up massive pieces on the walls of 5 Pointz and break dancing in the yard to dropping five albums

On January 19th, 2010 Bisco Smith releases his fifth project The Broadcast. But despite his success he remains grounded and with his heart still invested in the art of 5 Pointz he lends his long time friends all the support he can offer towards preserving the iconic building.

Formerly residing in Connecticut, Bisc says the style of graff there was distinctively different from that of NY, but heavily influenced by the culture of this neighboring state. “New York graff was everywhere” he exclaims. Ironically, bouncing between art and music, mix tapes, graff, and skateboards were what brought Bisc into New York, and subsequently forging his decision to go to art school. In the 90s he would travel by train to and from the city to purchase mix tapes and the vibe here got him hooked.

Understanding the important role education plays in honing your craft, combined with his love for graff, Bisc started his studies at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. Many of his friends attended FIT where he would spend time hanging outside the front of the building, and that’s where he met 5 Pointz founder and curator Jonathan “Meres” Cohen. “Everyone used to sit outside” Bisc says “and here comes Meres on a little scooter” he adds. Like most people, Bisc instantly clicked with the young scooter riding artist and were friends from that point on.

At the time, 5 Pointz was known as Phun Phactory, a place where people didn’t just come to paint, rather a spot where anything goes, and raves were held night after night. Bisc would join Meres and dozens others when visiting the 200,000 square foot warehouse, where together the group of prodigies would just chill. Then at some point the free-for-all was no longer enough for Meres, and he decided to take charge and transform the structure into what is now known to us as 5 Pointz.

“Before it was 5 Pointz it was an open factory, and we had the key” Bisc explains, “Meres took over, locked it down, and stepped it up”. This transformation created a whole new energy. Now 5 Pointz is a place where you can come just to hang out with friends, and do something creative and productive. One major difference is that while anyone can come to paint, artist or not, a permit granted by Meres is strictly required. However, what the building is today isn’t a different entity, just a mature version of itself, still filled with all the components of New York’s urban culture.

Bisc recalls the magical experience of painting on the loading dock and making tunes with hip-hop legend Lord Roc in the building office; he offers a contrast of unique days that seldom few can say they took part in, and a simple yet powerful quote, “I love that place”— words that resonate with millions across the globe. For standing by 5 Pointz for so many years, and for manifesting a generations worth of culture through his music, we give thanks to Bisc.

For more information on Bisco Smith’s upcoming album visit


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