Puerto Rican artist, David “Don Rimx” Sepulveda grew up in public housing with a high crime rate. He found his higher calling at a young age, when his parents enrolled him in weekend art classes. He lived in Brooklyn beginning in 2009 and was a Grand St. resident. His work is familiar in NYC as he was commissioned to paint several large-scale murals in Bryant Park.
His mural Olor a Azucenas el Perfume del Barrio on the east wall of the Grand Street Key Food parking lot was informed by interviews with small business owners and residents along the Grand Street corridor. He communicated this content with a vivid color palette and themes that evoke Puerto Rican heritage.
“The main image is inspired by a flower vendor in the metropolitan area of Puerto Rico who walks through all the communities around the San Juan area selling and spreading the beauty and scent of azucenas. These represent the connection between the island and the Brooklyn community,” said Don Rimx in his artist’s statement, attached to the fence near this mural.
“The community reaction to all of the work has exceeded my wildest expectations. People are seeing themselves and their neighbors represented in the murals – it’s really amplifying a strong sense of community here and giving people added opportunity to enjoy their time on Grand Street.,” said Erin Piscopink, Grand St. BID Exec. Dir.
Grand Street Business Improvement District (BID) commissioned this artwork and 98 Bushwick a mural at with discretionary funding from Council Member Stephen Levin. It is one of several public murals that have been curated by Grand Street based company Owley to reflect the neighborhood. Olor a Azucenas el Perfume del Barrio is the first of these. The murals at 609 Grand and 98 Bushwick happened because of financial support from Council Member Levin
Four murals also went up at 723 Grand Street (Graham Avenue) on the weekend of June 22/23. These were supported via a partnership with the LISA Project and their partnership with NYCPride.
“I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to secure additional funding in the coming fiscal year to keep adding to our public art collection. The murals that we have and will continue to install throughout the district help define a sense of space/place, are engaging for passersby, beautify the area, and give people an opportunity to connect with the artwork itself,” said Piscopink