To capture a bit of Brooklyn and its people is his goal, braving the freezing weather and all. If he can get away with it, your face could be the subject of Rimx’s next mural. The urban artist, born Edwin David Sepúlveda, has teamed up with photographer Alex Seel to create “16 Barras” (pronounced “Sixteen Barras”), a series of 16 public art interventions mostly in East Williamsburg and Bushwick that consist of Rimx spray painting portraits of everyday Brooklynites. For the past three weeks, Seel has been emailing Rimx photos of subjects he meets on the street, or strangers who stop to check out the 29 year old at work on one of his murals.
Rimx, who moved to New York two years ago from Puerto Rico where he was part of El Coro graffiti collective, prints out the photo or opens it on his cellphone for reference and works from there, straight onto walls and metal gates. Besides the fact that they all live in Brooklyn, Rimx doesn’t have any information or background about the person whose portrait he is creating. “The idea is to showcase images of neighbors, people who would never have imagined that one day someone would make a portrait of them,” he says. “Es un orgullo to have one’s portrait taken.”
Each mural has a word (in English or Spanish) and a number that will form a poem once Rimx completes the series of murals, which he hopes to do by March. In addition to taking the photos of the portraits’ subjects, Seel’s photo and video documentation of Rimx’s process will be shown in an exhibition along with other Rimx works at White Train in Tribeca (up to January 30th, you can catch the “16 Barras” kick-off exhibit at DIS Micro Gallery in Dumbo.
So far, Rimx has done 7 murals, and he has 9 to go. If you want to see Rimx and Seel in action (and perhaps get picked for the next one), Rimx will be creating the next mural at Fresthetic’s storefront gate on Grand Street and Lorimer at some unannounced point during the next week, when the inspiration strikes, and a new photo arrives on his inbox.
Check out videos of Rimx in action, leaving his sprayed mark on NYC.