Navigating the 19th Annual Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention was comparable to how I believe Jennifer Connelly must have felt wandering through Bowie’s labyrinth, searching desperately for her baby brother at the center of the giant, clusterfuck of a maze. There were obstacles round every corner, weird little trolls trying to sell you shit upon eye contact and indescribable smells wafting through the air.
The Mexican-born, California-raised artist started by describing his on-again-off again, long term relationship with art. “As far as I can remember I've been into [art.]. But I painted in middle school and in high school, then took a big eight year break, went into the military, and finally got back into it in ‘08,” explains Rimada. “At the beginning, it was probably just cause, you know I was good at it, I liked it, but in ‘08 it was more of a, my wife was pregnant… So I kinda had to either go or not go — go the regular 9-5 job or get into art and it sort of pushed me into it. It was sort've a ‘do or die’ for me in ‘08. And, it worked out."
Finding both solace and inspiration in the realization that there were other artists out there doing things not necessarily by the book, Rimada began churning out tons of work, and eventually melded this new archive of work with his experience in the tattoo industry when a friend suggested he sell his work at tattoo conventions. “Somebody had told me, ‘Hey you should do a show called Ink & Iron, and that’s the first show I ever did in ‘08, and then again in ‘09. I painted a bunch of paintings, for like six months, printed them, went to Ink & Iron and did really good — lightbulb moment you know.” He’s continued to attend conventions ever since, and has gained quite the following along the way.
His meticulous process of rendering the tiniest details (seriously, watch some of his process videos), smoothest textures and symbolic imagery in the annoyingly fast-drying medium that is acrylic paint work with each other in perfect unison to create truly mesmerizing results. From stylized portraits of powerful, well-known women (Frida and Lana, anyone?) to ornate symbolism and surreal mashups, Rimada’s got his technique down to a science — the rest is just pulling from his endless repository of inspiration and using it to make masterpieces.
As for Rimada’s future plans, that’s a no brainer. He’ll continue to remain a devoted father, loving husband, and dedicated artist. Keep up with his fascinating process documentation and latest works on Instagram and grab some prints for yourself here — and definitely don’t forget to keep an eye out for him at the next tattoo convention you attend.