For the Mural Mafia, a traveling group of muralists, a “piece” is not a weapon. It is the abbreviation of an artistic masterpiece.
During recent visits to Chicago, members of the group created a series of pieces, including one, titled “Home” and completed last summer at 16th Street and Ashland Avenue, which depicts Mother Earth holding a globe to send a message. on environmental sustainability.
Another mural, titled “Power to the People,” completed last summer near Grand and Chicago Avenues, features images of five racial justice figures: Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., Angela Davis and Nelson Mandela.
“We try to spread positive messages of hope, love and equality,” says the Mural Mafia member who poses as Menace.
Some of the band’s other works are just for fun. Like the mural on the 600 block of West Grand Avenue that includes images of singers Jennifer Hudson and Aretha Franklin, also completed last summer.
The group has done another mural on a railway viaduct along Hubbard Street in Aberdeen Street, in a stretch that includes dozens of murals, some from the 1970s. This creation by Mural Mafia, done in December, features a underwater scene and features the styles of Mural Mafia artists Menace, Resa and LindsayLoves and another muralist, who goes through Task 2, who worked with the band in Chicago. Each took a different section of the wall.
Menace and Resa got their start in graffiti art in New York before moving to Los Angeles, Lindsay Loves is originally from Chicago, where she says the graffiti scene is more community-oriented than other cities where the group worked.
The Mural Mafia aims to have murals in every state.
“We want to be community service for people in every state or small town we go to,” Resa says. “The number one thing all American schools cut from their funding is arts education, but we think it’s so crucial to a child’s development.”