Chicago's 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.
“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.
If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the Suicide Crisis Line at 1-800-784-2433