This mural, titled “Wakanda Forever,” was painted by artist Rahmaan Statik and features characters from Marvel’s “Black Panther” movies.

This mural, titled “Wakanda Forever,” was painted by artist Rahmaan Statik and features characters from Marvel’s “Black Panther” movies.

Anthony Vazquez / Sun-Times

For Chicago artist Rahmaan Statik, painting ‘Black Panther’ murals was ‘a childhood dream come true’

He used one he’d painted in 2020 on a building in South Chicago to get Marvel and Disney to commission him to do a ‘Wakanda Forever’ promotional mural in Woodlawn.

Fans of Marvel’s “Black Panther” movies don’t have to go to a theater to see the franchise’s characters. They also can see them in two murals on the South Side.

In time for the recent release of the series’ second installment, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” a mural by Chicago artist Rahmaan Statik that features three of the film’s characters recently went up at 606 E. 61st St. in Woodlawn.

At 89th Street and Commercial Avenue in South Chicago, an earlier mural done by Statik features Chadwick Boseman, the late actor who starred in the first “Black Panther” movie.

The late actor Chadwick Boseman is depicted in a mural by artist Rahmaan Statik at 89th Street and Commercial Avenue in South Chicago.

The late actor Chadwick Boseman is depicted in a mural by artist Rahmaan Statik at 89th Street and Commercial Avenue in South Chicago.

Anthony Vazquez / Sun-Times

Clad in yellow, Boseman seems to gaze at passersby, with his Black Panther character beside him and the words: “Be Your Higher Self.”

For Statik, who is Black and who painted the Boseman mural in 2020 and the other one this fall, the “Black Panther” movies — featuring a Black superhero and a cast of Black characters — provided a sense of pride. Statik says he felt a kinship with Boseman, who died of colon cancer in 2020 at 43.

“He’s not from Chicago, I’ve never met him,” says Statik, 42. “But he was like a kindred spirit. That’s what drew me to him.

“I don’t get jealous of other artists that remind me of myself, I get more inspired.”

Statik didn’t have any financial support for the Boseman mural. The building on which he painted it was vacant at the time, so Statik just started painting — a return to his roots as a graffiti artist.

Statik later was chosen to paint the Woodlawn mural, which was commissioned by Marvel and Disney in promoting “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”

Statik used the South Chicago mural as part of his pitch to paint the one in Woodlawn. Similar promotional murals were done in New York and Los Angeles.

Born in Woodlawn, Statik lives in the South Loop and has long been a fan of superhero stories. He says painting the murals was a “childhood dream come true.”

Murals

Chicago’s murals & mosaics


Part of a series on public art. More murals added every week.

Click on the map below for a selection of Chicago-area murals

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