Art ‘meant for people in dark places,’ Myron Laban says of his ‘Uplift’ murals around Chicago
He’s a pharmacist as well as an artist and says, with both jobs, his aim is to help people heal. Like with his mural in Bucktown of a faceless adult and a boy moving forward through a field of flowers.
Laban, 27, says he isn’t just looking to make them prettier. He’s hoping the results might inspire people, too, especially those facing hard times or mental illness.
He says he wants his work to be uplifting, to remind people life isn’t always going to be difficult, that “hard things” might come their way, but “they also go.”
“I don’t like to draw dark things,” he says, “because the art is meant for people in dark places.”
Like the mural he painted in 2020 at Milwaukee and Western avenues, centered on a faceless figure carrying a young boy through flowers and grass. He sees the faceless figure as symbolic of life and the boy as a force for optimism.
Everyone experiences hardships differently, and everyone finds their own ways to heal, says Laban, who’s also a pharmacist. He says both of his jobs have the same aim.
“I use my different professions to heal people,” he says.
And, he says, “Medicine isn’t always the answer.”
That’s where art comes in, he says. He has created more than 10 “Uplift” murals around Chicago and plans to do more.
As the son of Egyptian immigrants, Laban says he tries to make his art inclusive and often paints children of color.
Chicago’s murals & mosaics
Part of a series on public art. More murals added every week.