532 Gallery is pleased to announce Code, an exhibition of new paintings by RIME. RIME’s studio work has frequently stripped out, isolated, reworked, and repositioned component features of his most elaborate graffiti pieces. His large bodily gestures of swooping letter serifs become expertly painted in studio, not street, media. The cartoon heraldic b-boys, mugs, and pinups guide the eye or float in giant fight clouds. The new works in Code deconstruct the cartoonish figures to hints of them: a chin, an ear, a nose.
The contour of furrowed foreheads implying consternation or surprise, a finger or two giving direction. A leg, a breast, a bum. A flowing hairstyle. They dance together to implied music. In something of a RIME tradition, where one or two eyes won’t do, an even-numbered row of eyeballs lines up. They might be breasts, too - this could go either way. The deconstructed figures bear at times deconstructed apparel and accessories: jewelry - the classic gold rope chain - and the suggestion of a Kangol or Borsalino hat. And RIME’s own body appears as well, reflected in the swooping gestures both as serigraph-flat arcs and painterly brushstrokes.
Rime had always been pro-organic, anti-artificial, in his work. You could see it in the graffiti: the sacred radius of the swing of the arm, the full dip in the knees and waist to a crouch. The ratio of the body to the work is absolutely essential in graffiti: it’s how the human meets the inanimate wall and scales itself to it. Never to measure, never to tape off, instead to use the sacred geometry of the body, of the confidence of style, of the moment, to divine proportions. But in a recent DMT experience RIME encountered a sense of how technologically coded our minds and existence are. He experienced what felt like an artificial, full color, three-dimensional program. He reconsidered the notion that this life, the universe, and consciousness was of organic origin. He felt the ones and zeros, the perfection of right angles, the grid structure undergirding the cosmos, and he began to work with what he had once closed off. The new works in CODE reflect this experience.
Rime was born in 1979 and grew up in Brooklyn, Staten Island and New Jersey. By the mid-1990s, he had emerged as one of the most passionate and dedicated graffiti writers of his generation, and in the twenty-seven-plus years since then, he has become one of graffiti’s greats. Drawing on an extensive knowledge of graffiti’s history of lettering styles and techniques, he has a visual vocabulary and versatility with letters nearly unparalleled worldwide and has held his own on walls with the best of the best.