There a number of advantages to living in Crown Heights: proximity to Covenhoven, Chavela’s, Glenda’s Restaurant and the Eastern Parkway pedestrian path. A smaller number of ugly condo projects than other hot Brooklyn neighborhoods. And now, a new perk: you might be able to get a free giant fancy portrait of yourself, painted by an actual skilled painter. It’ll look great in your living room for the next few months, before the rest of the people with money who think of Crown Heights as “the place with the riots” stop being afraid of it and start moving in.
DNA Info talked to Rusty Zimmerman, the brains behind The Free Portrait Project, about his attempt to paint 200 residents of Crown Heights for free this year. Zimmerman told the site that he wants to leave a physical document of the changing neighborhood and let people who might otherwise not be able to afford an oil painting of themselves get one. Zimmerman isn’t just some fly-by-night fingerpainter either, as you can see from the above work. The five-year Crown Heights resident has painted posters for Andrew Cuomo and will be lecturing at Harvard this year, so if he agrees to paint your portrait, you’ll be getting a family heirloom.
How do you get one though, with so many people in Crown Heights and only 200 portraits being offered? All you need to do is go here and fill out an application, and then the waiting starts. If you get picked to get a portrait of yourself, we’d suggest going out and getting some decent clothes. No one wants to be captured in the beauty of an oil painting forever while wearing a t-shirt with a hole in the shoulder.