Theodoor Grimes is a Black digital artist known for his vibrant illustrations that center the queer experience under the moniker ggggrimes (pronounced Grimes). Based in the Bronx, NY, Theodoor is entirely self taught. Their art career started in 2018, when after a year of vigorous self study with ink and watercolors during their final year in music school, Theodoor decided they wanted to dedicate their life to visual artwork. Although his family was homeless and had been for many years, he was supported in his goals. On his birthday on April 22nd, 2018, he was gifted his first drawing tablet, opening up new doors to creative expression.
ggggrimes’ old work features characters devoid of racial characteristics, but as they continued to build on their skills with watercolor, they began intentionally painting people of color. As an artist on Instagram in 2018, he began getting pushback from white artists who found fault in his focus on portraying different races respectfully. After spending the last two years of college unpacking racial and queer trauma in Africana Studies and Sociology courses, Theodoor’s response to this racist discourse was doubling down, completely removing white subjects from his non-commissioned artwork.
A concentration on queer people of color came when Theodoor finally came to terms with his non-binary identity and desire to date non-cisgender men. They began their first open queer relationship as their social transition began, reflected in their early digital artwork that centers sapphic relationships. When the pandemic hit and Theodoor relocated to Philly for two years, societal expectations of gender he experienced melted away, and he began medically transitioning, sharing progress of this transition on Instagram. The complicated feelings Theodoor experienced were reflected by a new focus on trans people of color.
ggggrimes’ work is known not only for its dedication to uplifting queer people, but also for its brilliantly colorful, lush, and peaceful depictions of life and queer sex. Theodoor often describes his work as a portrayal of queer people of color living happy, beautiful, and sexy lives: highlighting joyous and free worlds that every queer deserves. Theodoor’s illustrations are full of incredible detail and texture: tattoos, body hair, surgery scars, bulges, blushes, glistening bodies, incredible fashion, and seemingly endless patterns. Inspired by graphic novels, manga, and hentai, his portfolio boasts a large amount of comics and diverse smut, centering trans people receiving pleasure, not shying away from use of fetish or the supernatural, including demons with tentacles and abnormally long tongues.
Theodoor’s range has led to collaborations with well-known brands like gc2b, Opening Ceremony, Huffpost, PRISM, Everpress, GRAV, Lyft, Gucci, OKCupid, VICE, OGX at Gov Ball, and HBO Max at Art Basel. Their work has been on a billboard in collaboration with SaveArtSpace, on a large ad space in Soho in collaboration with OGX, and as a mural on the side of the Ruth Ellis Center in Detroit in collaboration with Spotify. They’ve created a puzzle for Gucci, a holiday postcard for Fran Tirado, and a single cover for Medusa by GRiZ featuring Wreckno. They’ve juried for the Scholastic Art Awards, and curated for Collective Arts Brewing. While in Philly, they co-organized the first Trans Art Mart at Love City Brewing with their friend, fellow artist, and creator of Trans Art Mart, Miller Potoma.
Theodoor’s main goal in collaborations is providing a means for visibly trans people of color to be seen in the mainstream. Working with larger brands also gives him the financial backing and freedom to take on low cost and pro bono commissions with smaller organizations that advocate for and improve the lives of people of color and/or queer people within their communities.
In 2023, Theodoor turned their sights to galleries now that they’re back in NYC, with work in group shows at La Mama Galleria and Lehman College Art Gallery. In the future, they hope to continue exploring digital artwork printed on different materials, and paint textures with acrylic paint on large printed canvases to bridge the gap between the digital and physical art realms. Theodoor spends their days in their attic apartment in the Bronx with their non-binary partner, Callum, and their cisgender cat daughter, Mildred. His daily activities consist of painting on his iPad, doing pilates on youtube, watching anime, and reading horoscopes for Leo risings.
View my portfolio at www.ggggrimes.com/gallery
View my commission portfolio at www.ggggrimes.com/commissions
since 2019, I've had the pleasure of working with several brands dedicated to vibrantly and artistically showing up for the queer community. email me at email@example.com to join the list.