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Prince Getting Huge Mural Tribute On Stony Island Avenue

By Sam Cholke | April 25, 2016 4:33pm | Updated on April 29, 2016 11:40am
 Rahmaan “Statik” Barnes started on Sunday painting a mural of Prince as he appeared on the
Rahmaan “Statik” Barnes started on Sunday painting a mural of Prince as he appeared on the "Purple Rain" album cover.
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DNAinfo/Sam Cholke

AVALON PARK — Prince is getting a new building-size tribute in Avalon Park, thanks to an artist.

Rahmaan “Statik” Barnes started on Sunday painting Prince as he appeared on the cover of his “Purple Rain” album on the side of an auto repair shop at 8051 S. Stony Island Ave.

Reporter Sam Cholke on the new artwork to honor Prince.

“This is a project I’m not getting paid for; I’m doing it because I recognize his integrity as an artist, and it need to be done with integrity,” Barnes said.

Prince was found dead Thursday at 57 years old in an elevator of his Paisley Park Studios in Minnesota, and Barnes said he deserves a proper tribute in the city.

 Barnes said he thinks he'll finish the mural by the weekend after more than 20 hours of work.
Barnes said he thinks he'll finish the mural by the weekend after more than 20 hours of work.
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DNAinfo/Sam Cholke

Barnes, who is classically trained in painting, said he wanted to honor in spray paint the man who he said pushed the limits of artistic liberty.

“I grew up listening to Prince, thanks to my mother and father,” Barnes said. “You have to pick an era you’re a fan of though, because with every album he recreated himself.”

Barnes' work probably is familiar to a lot of South Siders. Anyone who has ridden the No. 6 bus probably has seen Barnes’ mural under the Metra viaduct at 47th Street and Lake Park Avenue or other murals in Woodlawn at 67th Street and Woodlawn Avenue and Marquette Road and Woodlawn Avenue.

He said he planned to work on the Prince mural for three hours a day and finish it off on Sunday with an eight-hour marathon of painting.

“I think all artists should take a note from him,” Barnes said. “When it comes your time, what kind of legacy are you leaving behind?”

The wall is a permanent space Barnes and other artists have negotiated to use, and the mural will remain until Barnes chooses to paint over it.

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