Chicago’s murals & mosaics
Part of a series on public art in the city and suburbs. More murals are added every week.
Artists Corey Pane and Chris Devins painted murals memorializing the rapper, who was 21 when he died last December from what was found to have been an accidental overdose of oxycodone and codeine after landing at Midway Airport.
One of Pane’s murals is a portrait of Juice WRLD surrounded by butterflies and shooting stars that’s similar to the cover design for his recent posthumous album “Legends Never Die.”
Juice WRLD’s managers commissioned Pane to help design the album cover and the mural — which he painted on a viaduct in the 800 block of West Hubbard Street by the Kennedy Expressway — after the Connecticut artist painted a portrait of the rapper as a gift for a friend.
Pane says he hopes his art will help bring together the rapper’s fans in celebration of his music and that he’s heard some people have traveled hours to see the mural.
“When they go to the mural, it’s almost like bringing him back to life and bringing his spirit back to life,” says Pane, 31. “If I can bring them that moment, then that’s amazing.”
Pane says he wanted the portrait to be similar to the album cover and added “the metamorphosis of a butterfly” to symbolize Juice WRLD’s legacy in death, “becoming something even bigger.”
Miles south of his work on Hubbard Street, Devins painted his own tribute to Juice WRLD on a building at 737 W. 59th St. in Englewood.
Devins says he was “floored” when he heard “Legends Never Die,” which came out in July, and thought, “I’ve got to do something about this guy.
“I try to highlight positive things that come up out of the community of the South Side and Chicago in general,” the Chicago artist says. “A lot of times, we’re focusing on some of the negatives that happen in Chicago.”
This Englewood mural portrays the rapper with wings and a halo, a nod to him being “amongst the angels,” Devins says.
Pane also did another Juice WRLD mural, at 7853 S. Essex Ave. in South Shore, showing him amid clouds and beneath the words “Never Leave My Brothers.” That mural was painted over shortly after he finished it in late July. There are conflicting accounts about who did that and why.
Tayler Nash, who worked with Juice WRLD’s management to help direct the album cover and Pane’s murals, says the idea was to create “spaces where people, fans, anyone can come and congregate and mourn and celebrate. No one was able to really mourn Juice when he passed, it was so shocking and just disappointing. He just deserves so much more.”