By Joshua Bruno ‘19
Anyone walking or driving down W Harrison St. when downtown has seen this thought-provoking mural.
First, the mural evokes a feeling of despair. The white and gray man sits as the viewer moves his or her eyes from the top of the mural displaying the man’s long, greasy hair to the bottom of the mural showing his bare feet. This mural already separates itself from other colorful murals throughout the city.
What is on the man’s mind? His tattered clothing and unkempt appearance may hint at poverty. As he is on the South side of a real estate building, perhaps his financial state went south. The mural itself is especially intriguing on a cloudy day that obstructs the view of the Willis Tower overhead, casting a gloomy scene above the mural and making its way into one’s introspection.
Personally, my interpretation of the mural is the forgotten employee in the bustling city of Chicago. The man may simply be a grunt where he works, going 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and returning to his small studio apartment, feeling surrounded by walls and wondering about his future.
The mural began in 2016 by a pair of French muralists named Ella and Pitr. From Illinois to Chile to Portugal, the two have murals located around the world. The pair began from a Facebook page declaring their support for street art in 2010. They have grown ever since, specializing in anamorphosis and large scale public artwork. The actual mural was started in 2016 and since then has served as a reminder for those traveling down Harrison St. to remember the blessings in his or her life.