Alan Grimes: The Anticulturalist
Alan Grimes, known to others in the Atlanta art community as “Baba Nochi” is a revolutionary. Not in the vogue sense – revolutionary as in rebellious, nonconforming, bitter, and passionately unforgiving of anything that resembles the status quo. But beneath those many layers of residual deprecation and instinctual non-inclusion exists most simply and beautifully, an ‘artist-o-crat.’ Grimes, a compassionate painter and mixed media artist, can be described as incredibly critical of society. Slightly removed, Grimes is seriously inspired by dramatic courses in African-American history, suffrage and the messages of our ancestors. A career carpenter, Grimes has a body of work somewhat reflective of his personality and lifestyle. Tough, quirky and seemingly impervious to society’s maelstrom all while using trails of blood, sweat and tears from social fallout debris as the tools for his construction.
Alan Grimes was born and raised in the Ben Hill area of, Atlanta, Georgia and is proud to represent that he is a “Grady Baby” referring to Grady Memorial Hospital. Over time, he has seen Atlanta go through many changes, including the art community. “I live art more than I’m able to do art for a living. It’s more of a way to be.” Explains Grimes. “I’ve been a carpenter for over fifteen years. I love being a carpenter. It allows me to mix media with art to create stuff.”
The pseudonym “Baba Nochi” apparently originated from his childhood love for Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. He loved the name Baba and it stuck. Nochi, translation for night, came from his nocturnal nature to create late in the evening. According to Grimes, “That is the best time for me to create. I get to concentrate a lot when it’s dark. The heavens open up to me at night. I thrive in the darkness of things.”
Although Grimes has a Mad Max, doomsy, unedited, maverick approach to life and art, his work finds a lighter, softer edge, vivid and polite with color, whereas the harshness lies within the subtext.
“I like pretty art. Some of my stuff is pretty, but most of it has deeper messages that people won’t get for twenty years. Art is like rap for me. As a classic hip-hop head, I speak through my art. That’s the only way I really know how to talk to the people without actually getting on a microphone. This is for the community. I’m in battle.”
Don’t let him fool you. Grimes can be somewhat combative, but at the core he is genuinely a good-hearted, nice guy with a gentle smile . He’s just pissed off at all the treatment of black people and the bullshit and politics that the world is consuming.
“It’s sarcasm more than bitterness. I think we’ve become desensitized in the black community. The way black people are being treated is being made light of. It’s a joke. Everything is a joke. So, it’s kind of like dumb and dumber. So I go even dumber.” Laughs Grimes.
Grimes is currently preparing for an exhibition, entitled “28” opening in February 2016. Click Here for details.
“This new show is like an anthology of my work since I had a small gallery. It’s comprised some new pieces as well as some of my older pieces. “28” represents the twenty-eight days of black history month. With the way we’re currently being treated, do you mean 28 days of safety? It’s really about American history and it’s getting worse. I want to focus on the ‘uncelebrated’ side of things. A lot of my work touches on that. And, really it’s just an intimate way for me to share a body of my work with friends, fans and supporters over the years.”