Off the Wall

Muralist, Leon Rainbow, brightens up the city one piece at a time

Who is Leon Rainbow?

I’m Leon Rainbow I’m a Trenton-based muralist and graffiti artist. I’m originally from California, but I’ve lived here in Trenton since 1997, and I’ve been doing murals in this city since 1999.

How did you start painting?

I went to Mercer Community College, and then I started painting murals like in 1999/2000. I met another artist Pose 2 and Sew, and Base from Philly, and they kind of taught me how to do Graffiti the right way.

Who inspires you?

I think my favorite piece is the one that I’m working on right now in Maryland. Me, Pose 2, who I was telling you about, and a female artist from Washington D.C. Decoy. We’re working on a 250ft x 20ft wall in Maryland and it's kind of like on the outskirts of Baltimore. It’s really a fun wall. We’re doing three very different styles, but everything is really cohesive. It has a lot of different techniques and textures to it. I’m really having fun with that one. As far as locally, I guess one of my favorite ones is the beautiful Broad Street mural, which is at Broad Street Furniture on North Broad. Then one of my other favorite ones is called "The Heart of the City." It’s in New Brunswick and it’s on Kilmer Park and it's right there on French Street in New Brunswick. So those are some of my favorite projects that are recent.

What’s your favorite piece?

I think my favorite piece is the one that I’m working on right now in Maryland. Me, Pose 2, who I was telling you about, and a female artist from Washington D.C. Decoy. We’re working on a 250ft x 20ft wall in Maryland and it's kind of like on the outskirts of Baltimore. It’s really a fun wall. We’re doing three very different styles, but everything is really cohesive. It has a lot of different techniques and textures to it. I’m really having fun with that one. As far as locally, I guess one of my favorite ones locally is the beautiful Broad Street mural, which is at Broad Street Furniture on North Broad. Then one of my other favorite ones is called The Heart of the City. It’s in New Brunswick and it’s on Kilmer Park and it's right there on French Street in New Brunswick. So those are some of my favorite projects that are recent.

How important is art to Trenton?

It’s as important as you make it. I feel like art is…to me…art is like breathing, you know what I’m saying? But at the same time, I feel like you can use art to engage people. Like most kids really enjoy art. It’s kind of giving them a little bit of understanding of, you know, there’s careers and possibilities of doing their art outside of their house.

What is your Trenton dream?

I really would like to see a little bit less shooting right now, you know, just peace and people enjoying the community. I’d like to see people have jobs…people flourish.

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