Bimmer Torres has always loved to draw, to create. Artistry runs in his family, he remembers watching many family members draw, or paint, or create when he was growing up. As a teenager, Bimmer began exploring street art, and from the age of 14 began tagging and practicing graffiti lettering. At 19, Bimmer’s graffiti art got him into trouble with the law which led to a life-changing realization - instead of creating his art without permission, he could approach businesses as an artist and negotiate a commissioned piece. That was more than 10 years ago, today Bimmer is one of Denver’s most recognized and highly celebrated street artists.
“My inspiration comes from the community itself and reflects the people, the history, the diversity that we have here in Denver,” Bimmer states. “My family didn’t have a lot of money growing up, they moved to Denver from Mexico, my grandfather was a day laborer and my parents worked very hard to show me what to value in life. These themes are very often reflected in my work.”
Not only does Bimmer’s street art beautify Denver’s neighborhoods, the way he goes about actually creating the work supports the community as well. Bimmer frequently partners with local youth correctional facilities and conducts a 2-4 week workshop which involves the kids in the facilities in the creation of his street art projects. The idea for the workshops was developed by Martin Friedman, a restorative community justice client manager and parole officer. Throughout the workshop, Bimmer has the youth participate in the design process for urban murals, he shares his artistic techniques, and has the kids participate in the actual creation of the street art. The goal of each workshop is to teach the participants, many of whom have been identified as committed to bettering their situation while serving time, how to give back to their communities.
“Sometimes I work with kids who are in opposing gangs, and all of a sudden, throughout the course of the project, they are finding commonalities, they are getting along, working together as a team,” states Bimmer. “Many of these kids are graffiti artists themselves and these workshops provide an opportunity to change their mindset towards giving back to their community, looking at graffiti as an art form and potentially a healthy lifestyle or even something that could provide financial stability if they go about it the right way. Murals have such a big impact on the community, improving the way it looks. I hope to help kids see my perspective on it.”
Bimmer’s work can be seen throughout Denver and surrounding neighborhoods, including RiNo, Arvada, and Aurora. He’s painted over 200 pieces including over 100 large scale murals throughout the city and recently began creating 3D sculptures with a new installation at the RTD Pecos Station on the G Line in Denver. “It brings me joy to share my work with other people,” stated Bimmer. “When I see people stop appreciate my work, maybe they take a picture, then I know my work is valuable to them, and to the community as a whole.”