(Art)icultate Black Boy
This week, we will be highlighting two murals that were completed in early July. The first mural is by street art veteran, Max Sansing. As the sun sets, the woman looks behind her while she carries with her a pole containing two keys. The keys are a common symbol that appears in Max’s art and represents a means of unlocking the potential that is present in communities within the Southside.
The second mural is by Kayla Mahaffey, a relative newcomer to street art who has made tremendous strides in the last few years (She’s was also our first artist interview!). This mural is actually her largest piece of work to date! The armored main character of the mural looks to her right as if preparing for battle against a pastel colored, clouded foreground. The three characters on her right who resemble Astro Boy and a Powerpuff Girl seem almost to be summoned by imagination to aid in battle.
These murals are located across from 1843 E. 79th Street in Avalon Park, and they were a collaboration between Max Sansing, Kayla Mahaffey and art production company AlphaBomber Productions. While working on these murals, both Kayla and Max emphasized the importance of beautifying spaces on the Southside while highlighting the creativity present in predominantly Black neighborhoods. Follow both artists on Instagram to see more of their work: @maxsansing and @kaylamay_art.
July’s second mural of the week was a team effort between Chicago based artist Sentrock, Memphis based artist Birdcap and Los Angeles based artist Lilipore. This marks the second mural collaboration between the trio this year (the first was in Tampa in March for their joint show with Merge Culture Gallery). This mural was completed on July 7th for Healthy Hood Chicago, a nonprofit organization and fitness studio in Pilsen that provides affordable fitness options for the neighborhood. The three trademark characters of these three artists pose in a manner that is reflective and reverent. The theme of faith ties the three distinct styles of together while also acknowledging and respecting the church community on which the mural is painted. Check out more work by Sentrock (@sentrock), Birdcap (@birdcap) and Lilipore (@lilipore) on their Instagrams!
July’s first mural of the week is by JC Rivera in collaboration with Estrella Jalisco and Chicago Michelada Festival (which was on the weekend of July 6th/7th). This mural depicts Rivera’s famous Bear Champ (sans boxing gloves) character enjoying a michelada while the background image pays homage to the traditional Mexican culture of Pilsen. It was completed in the beginning of last month, and is located on 18th Street in Pilsen. Follow JC Rivera on Instagram (@jcrivera) to see some more of his work featuring Bear Champ!
June’s final mural of the week is Love Bull and The Hate Alligator by Memphis based artist Birdcap. This mural was commissioned by Chicago Truborn and was completed on June 10th as part of their ever changing roster of West Town Murals. In the mural, Cupid and a friend narrowly avoid being crushed by the jaws of a hungry alligator. Scroll through to see Birdcap’s process for completing this amazing mural, and check more of his work on Instagram under the handle @birdcap.
June 2019’s third mural of the week is Colombian artist, Stinkfish’s vibrant portrait of a young girl. Like most of his work, the mural was done primarily using stencils, and it was completed on the middle of this month. It is part of the B-Line Murals in the Fulton Market District. Stinkfish’s solo show, The short distance between lands. The long distance between ports, is available to view at Vertical Gallery until June 29th. Check out more of his art on his Instagram page, @stinkfishstink.
The mural of the week for June 10th is Mr. Prvrt’s Peregrine Falcon that was completed this past Thursday. The Peregrine Falcon is a bird of prey commonly found throughout the world. They once nested and resided in the Midwest including Chicago until the 1960’s when the introduction of DDT and other pesticides eliminated the regional population. Since the 1980’s efforts have been made to restore the population to its former glory.
The mural is located in the West Town neighborhood on Chicago Avenue. Make sure to also check out Mr. Prvrt’s Aeresol Kingdom show at Chicago Truborn which is a mere block away. You can also see more of his work on his Instagram account, @mrprvrt.
Our first mural of the week is by Tubs, a Chicago based artist who utilizes calligraphy within his work. This mural of the Chicago flag represents the resilience of the city and its residents. Additionally, it speaks to the pride and creativity that is fostered within Chicago. It was completed about a week ago, and it is located in the Pilsen neighborhood on the Lower West side. See more of Tubs’ calligraphy based works by following his Instagram, @tubsz_illa.