A 2018 legal case in New York arose over the disposition of a collection of run-down warehouses in Long Island City, Queens, New York, which graffiti artists began to use as a canvas for their work after the buildings went undeveloped by the owner for many years. When the owner announced that he would demolish the buildings to make way for luxury condominiums, 21 of the graffitists sued for an injunction to prevent the destruction of the buildings and their artwork. The owner whitewashed the walls, destroying most of the graffiti, and after a trial, the Court found the owner liable of violating the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990 in obliterating the graffiti and awarded the maximum statutory damages, $150,000 per work, for a total of $6.75MM. In my latest article for the Daily Journal of Commerce, co-authored with Stoel Rives law clerk Antonia Krizanec, I discuss a few steps an owner-developer might take in the face of a similar situation. Read the full article here.

Originally published as “A case of New York City graffiti becoming art” on November 16, 2018, by the Daily Journal of Commerce.

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Andrew Gibson helps his clients build successful projects and negotiate and resolve disputes. As a partner in Stoel Rives’ Real Estate, Construction and Design practice, Andrew is experienced in drafting and negotiating all forms of project documents, from the design phase through construction…

Andrew Gibson helps his clients build successful projects and negotiate and resolve disputes. As a partner in Stoel Rives’ Real Estate, Construction and Design practice, Andrew is experienced in drafting and negotiating all forms of project documents, from the design phase through construction, and regularly  assists clients with navigating the typical tricks and traps of contracting and insurance coverage issues. He is also a veteran of a variety of legal proceedings and has successfully pursued construction defect claims, insurance and bond claims, bid protests, stop payment notices, mechanic’s liens, real estate disputes, and collection actions through mediation, arbitration, and litigation.