Streets Keep Callin’ is a mixed media installation that transforms the gallery into the street. The viewer is transported into a forgotten land of style, color, and texture. You can almost hear the train horns and factories humming. The installation combines photography, painting and various found objects into a multimedia environment. The installation was designed and conceptualized by Leon Rainbow. Stickers and Tags by Various Artists. Painted and installed by Leon Rainbow and Brendon Lopez. Created for the “Scrapped” exhibit at BSB Gallery in Trenton, NJ, March 2019.
A few months ago, I was contacted by the Princeton University Art Museum to create a special installation for their annual fundraiser. This years event was to be NYC in the 1980s themed. This was to coincide with the huge Basquiat Exhibit that they are having next year. I was given a lot of creative freedom. For the top, I wanted to use imagery of NYC icons with the abstract patterns that represent my work. For the bottom, I tried to create traditional graffiti lettering that represented the words Grit and Glam. The Glam was gold and smooth and flowing. The Grit was rugged and and had texture, drips and cracks.
About The Event
Saturday, February 2, 2019, for Grit + Glamour: A Basquiat Ball, the Museum’s Annual Benefit Gala. Inspired by an artist with whose work Princeton has had a long and very special relationship, the theme of this year’s Gala draws upon the creatively explosive downtown art scene of the 1980s in which Jean-Michel Basquiat and his circle—from Keith Haring to Madonna to Andy Warhol—shaped a dynamic street culture that changed both art and the wider American scene. It’s also a New York that has been lost to the past, and so Grit + Glamour: A Basquiat Ball also reminds us of the downtown that was, including its style, art, and music. Our sole fundraising event of the year, the Gala supports the wide range of education and outreach programs that the Museum offers—free of charge—year round.
When I was contacted by the people at the Cure Insurance Arena. I was so excited. After checking out the location we decided to do two 35ft x 12ft murals on the same stretch of walls near section 115. We talked about the vision and how the murals will incorporate the County as well as some of the performances that they have at the arena. Since their logo is blue we decided that the background should be warm colors and the foreground images would be blues and greys to make them jump off of the wall. The murals took about a month to complete. We are really pleased with the outcome which culminated in a workshop and press conference.
When I heard that I Am Trenton was doing a public art grant for the Old Trenton Neighborhood, my thoughts drifted to the wall on the side of the Broad Street Furniture Store. This site captured the architecture from Broad Street Discount Furniture to the Mercer County Community College Fashion and Design school. So I decided to bring attention to the area, by designing and creating a mural of the buildings and businesses. The Mural will beautify the area and hopefully spark revitalization in this section of Broad Street.
My friend Steve Zahirny and I smoothed out some rough spots of the wall with concrete. I worked tirelessly for weeks primming and sketching out the buildings and patterns. I base filled the sky and added patterns and bright colors to bring the mural to life. I organized a community workshop, which taught aerosol application and techniques. Light Refreshments were served by my wife Marie, and everyone had a great time. I outlined and detailed the buildings and sky. Finally, the mural was complete. My largest solo project to date, over15ft tall spanning 85ft.
Thanks to my Assistants: Radek Selski, Sophie Ban, and Marcus Mera.
Workshop supplies provided by TerraCycle and Liquitex
Special thanks to Amin and the staff at Broad Street Discount Furniture.
Mural created with support from the Old Trenton Arts + Community Program funded by I Am Trenton Community Foundation and Isles, Inc.
The mural incorporates an urban rendering of the Trenton Health Teams logo. The mural brings together the concepts in the “Vision for Trenton”- Healthy Environment, Public Spaces, Growing Economy, Effective Education, Healthy Food, Improved safety, Equity, and Social Cohesion, Quality Healthcare. The mural depicts iconic images of the Trenton community. Key Features are the NJ State House, Trenton Battle Monument, and the sculpture “Men Working” by George Segal. Special Thanks to Greg Paulson and the Trenton Health Team.
The “From Potential To Achievement” Mural was created at Christina Seix Academy in Ewing, NJ June 2018.
When I first talked with Dr. Connor from Christina Seix Academy, I loved his vision and the school was such a positive and creative environment. He showed me the wall which is 15ft x 15ft. They wanted to have student interaction as part of the project. The ages ranged from 5 to 13 years old. I came up with the concept of painting a tree with the “leaves” being handprints and symbols. We would use a material that we could cut in different shapes and collage into the mural. They gave me the title “From Potential To Achievement” and their “TRENT” Slogan to work into the design. It was fun to create a mural that incorporated so many styles and techniques. Thanks to Radek Selski for assisting me.
For its fourth year, the Levitt AMP Trenton Music Series activated Mill Hill Park—an easily-accessible, underused park in the state capital’s historic downtown core—building upon the progress of the previous three years, spurring economic activity and community participation, giving people of all backgrounds a place to connect and enliven their community through free, live music.
I curated a great group of artists to repaint the panels on Front and Broad Street during the Levitt Amp Festival. Each week a different artist painted LIVE directly across from the concert series. We have several local artists as well as artists from Philly, NYC, Delaware and Vermont.
Presented by the Trenton Downtown Association, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting economic growth and development as well as arts and cultural activities in the capital city.
After seeing a call for art for the 48 Blocks AC Event, I thought it would be really cool to have a graffiti-inspired chair on the Atlantic City Boardwalk. I was accepted and I started to work out a concept. I wanted something that represented the traditional aspects of graffiti in a bright fun way. I reimagined the “Do AC” logo on the seat back with an Atlantic City skyline in the background. On the chair arms, I painted “Boardwalk Empire” after the hit show. The seat a tribute to Jersey. I tied it all together with a uniform background of chips and designs. The chair is installed on the boardwalk in front of The Ocean Club.
The mural concept is “Growth” represented by the sunflower. It is also depicts planting which is synonymous with planting seeds artistically and the neighborhood growth. I chose the sunflower because it represents light and positivity.
The mural was painted as part of an annual project for Isles Inc. The mural was painted live with Dj It’s Just Ahmad providing the soundtrack.