Back in August, the Department of Streets and Sanitation covered up a mural on the side of a building at Milwaukee Avenue and Wood Street in Wicker Park that was painted by Hebru Brantley, a local artist who has sold work to JAY-Z and created street art throughout Chicago. The mural was originally painted on the building in 2009 and was one of Brantley's first works to feature his signature “Flyboy” character. According to a Block Club Chicago report, city workers were called to remove the mural “due to frequent graffiti vandalism.”
Earlier this week, Brantley finished up a new mural on the side of the building at 1401 N Milwaukee Avenue, painted in the exact same spot as the one that was covered up by city crews. Just like the old mural, Brantley's latest depicts his “Flyboy” character joined by the pink-haired “Lil Mama” character and splashes of bright colors. The new work was funded by Wicker Park Bucktown Special Service Area #33, which helps fund street festivals, cleaning and public art in the North Side neighborhoods.
“We’re thrilled Hebru Brantley was able to return and create this new piece, and we’re working with Alderman Brian Hopkins and other city officials to ensure that public murals like Brantley’s will not be mistaken for graffiti in the future,” WPB SSA #33 commission chair Brent Norsman stated in a release about the new mural.
Take a look at a photos of Brantley's original Wicker Park mural and the piece he's created to replace it below, or head to the intersection of Milwaukee and Wood to snap your own picture (and don't forget to explore the rest of Chicago's public art).