By Patrick Hedlund
DNAinfo News Editor
EAST VILLAGE — William and Kate, welcome to the Lower East Side.
A mural of the just-married royal couple will be painted on a large wall on East Houston Street Saturday by celebrated street artist Antonio "Chico" Garcia.
The artist, who now resides in Tampa, Fla., said he was compelled to return to his former neighborhood to do the mural after seeing all the media coverage surrounding the wedding and the outpouring of adoration expressed around the world.
"Love is in the air," said Garcia, who has dozens of murals throughout the East Village and Lower East Side.
"I think we need a little love in this world right now, with so much negativity going on," he added, citing the recent earthquake in Japan. "These people are bringing a little love to the world. They're bringing back what love is — unity. It's all about love; I think we need to realize that."
The mural is sponsored by Harlem-based liquor company Branson B. Champagne, which covered the cost of Garcia's flight to New York to complete the piece. It will cover one of his old murals featuring the music duo Loisaidas at the corner of Avenue B.
Garica said he plans to paint a portrait of Prince William and his bride Kate Middleton — the newly minted Duke and Duchess of Cambridge — surrounded by hearts and angels, as well a nod to the U.K. with images of British royalty.
"I'm trying to go do something that people will appreciate and remember forever," added Garcia, who's spending the next month in New York City and noted he's "up for hire."
"We need love, and these people are bringing us together."