MiAMi – When Rico James’ daughters came home one day and told him they’d met “nobody,” he thought they were kidding. His wife, Kalyn, assured him they had indeed met someone whose name was “nobody.”
A few weeks later James eventually met “nobody,” a prolific street artist from new Jersey who became a fixture in the Wynwood community with his signature spray- painted crown, stencil of the phrase “Art is my weapon” and his uncanny way of connecting with people through his illustrations of love, forgiveness and other inspirational messages.
One of his most moving pieces, James shared, is an “incredible picture of a woman with hearts coming out of her head, displayed the forgiveness, instead of blood, it was hearts,” which he created after nine people were murdered by a white supremacist while they were at church.
The two men became friends when nobody, whose pieces have been purchased by art lovers stateside and internationally, moved to a studio closer to James’ home. James began working on the documentary to capture nobody’s re-emergence into the art scene after he’d become less involved with art shows and public appearances.
“He became a little more reclusive and would say, ‘Rico, i just want to work.’ And that’s all he did. His work ethic was incredible. He woke up working and went to sleep working.”
When nobody was found dead at home due to an apparent suicide in 2016, James said, “it kind of hurt me. i put the project aside for a while and picked it back up because this story needs to be told.”
following his death, Robin Patterson, who identified herself as his sister, wrote a letter to the editor of an east Orange newspaper. A portion of the letter said, “in 2007, in response to the tragic murder of one of his friends, he began crafting messages to provoke discussion about the senseless inner-city violence which had now become personal. A graffiti-like tag attributed to TMnK, “nobody Care$” began to appear all over New York. A short time later he quit his job, walked away from his 6-figure salary, and began selling his art on eBay and the streets of Soho, where he began to draw the attention of curators and collectors from around the world. in 2010, He sold 42 of the 49 paintings from his Urban Derivatives exhibition, his first solo show at Galerie Galleberg in norway” James said he’s determined to tell nobody’s story. To raise money to complete the doc, he has launched a GofundMe campaign to “complete vital interviews, b-roll and art documentation in New York, Germany, Paris and norway. Additionally, it will be used to secure local film crews in each city to record interviews of the collectors, collaborators and friends from the early years who knew him best.”
Launched on Sept. 10, the campaign has raised $50 of its $40,000 goal, which James said will cover the first phase of the project.
“i’ve completed the last part of his work in Miami and that’s where he passed away. So now, we’re retracing his steps. He’s from new Jersey. He gained a lot of notoriety in norway, Germany and france – i want to get their perspective of him as a global artist,” James shared.
To contribute to the GoFundMe campaign for “Nobody was Here,” visit https://www.gofundme.com/nobodywashere.