Two artists collaborate to create Robin Williams mural on Concord Music Hall

SHARE Two artists collaborate to create Robin Williams mural on Concord Music Hall

A few passersby have been drawn back to this Robin Williams muralon the Concord Music Hall. | Rachel Frazin/Sun-Times

The Concord Music Hall just got a little more magical.

A mural has appeared on the venue’s northwest wall depicting the late comic Robin Williams, surrounded by tons of laughing blue genies — the character he voiced in the animated movie “Aladdin.”

Artists Jerkface and Owen Dippie painted the mural, which shows an extreme close-up of William’s face in black and white. The genies are pointing and laughing. Williams’ eyes, like the genies, are blue.

Jerkface and Dippie said on their social media accounts the art was a collaboration; Jerkface is known for his depictions of cartoon characters, and Dippie, who is based in New Zealand, often paints extremely detailed close-ups.

“We miss you Robin,” Jerkface wrote on Instagram, followed by a blue heart and genie emoji.

Dippie’s manager said in an email the artists discussed the project for a few years, but finding the right wall in Chicago and coordinating internationally took time. Once they started painting, it took them 10 days to complete the project.

A spokesman for the venue, 2047 N. Milwaukee Ave., said he believed the mural was completed late last month; he identified the artists but declined further comment.

To some viewers, the mural represents suicide prevention, and September is suicide prevention month.

“It is pretty sad how they’re laughing at him and everyone perceives him as such a happy being, but deep down inside he’s not happy,” Alberto Lechuga, 25, said on his second visit to the mural. Lechuga has been there twice because, he said, its message resonates with him.

“There’s times where I’m the one who’s supposed to be cheering someone else up, and I’m going through something,” he said.

It was a coincidence that the mural was completed during suicide prevention month, Dippie’s manager said, but added it is important the work is creating conversation.

She also said the artists would “most definitely” work in Chicago again because it is a beautiful place.

Passerby Renee Burger, 28, who lives near the venue, stopped to see it on her way home from shopping.

“That’s what I love about this area,” Burger said; the venue is on the border of Wicker Park and Logan Square. “There’s so much wall art … just on the street to look at.”

Besides “Aladdin,” Williams’ other films include “Dead Poets Society” and “Good Will Hunting.” He was born in Chicago in 1951 and grew up in Lake Bluff and Lake Forest. He died Aug. 11, 2014, in his California home.

People experiencing suicidal thoughts or urges can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at1-800-273-8255.

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