WICKER PARK — The latest mural to camouflage the outside "wall" of The Violet Hour in Wicker Park is an actual wall— and it's an evolving piece that will be changing throughout the month of April, according to its creator.
"My intention is not to shove my viewpoint in anyone's face but to let [viewers] draw their own conclusions from the imagery," said Elijah Alvarado, a filmmaker who painted the facade on the exterior wall of The Violet Hour cocktail lounge at 1520 N. Damen Ave. Saturday.
The wall is a collaboration with street artist Colin Grimm, who goes by the name ProbCause. Alvarado said they plan to make a time-lapse animation of the wall, using footage from deconstruction sessions at the site on Wednesdays and Saturdays throughout April.
On Wednesdays and Saturdays, the artists will rearrange the mural: parts of the wall will deteriorate using different wheat pastes, similar to paper mache, to depict the wall crumbling.
Alvarado said the idea was a response to the announcement that President Donald Trump planned on awarding contracts for the building of the U.S.-Mexico border wall in April.
Toward the end of the month, images of flowers and greenery will be applied to the facade.
Alvarado plans to publish the time lapse online after the mural's month-long run.
In a news release, The Violet Hour said the new facade by ProbCause and Alvarado "brings a powerful and poignant artistic statement to The Violet Hour’s wall in response to the Trump administration’s plan to debut a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.”
Last year, Alvarado, who also directed the music video for Chance the Rapper's "Hey Ma," worked with ProbCause on a short animation called “Battle of the Billionaires,” inspired by the 2016 presidential election.
The Violet Hour, which opened in 2007 and traces its name to a T.S. Eliot poem, camouflages its facade and entry door with artwork every six to eight weeks.
Previous facades have included a piece inspired by Chicago Ideas Week focused on visual brainstorming, a deer similar to Bambi, a twilight-hued nightclub scene, a "cow traffic jam" and abstract designs that have been the target of taggers, among others.
A Big Star employee, who gets a front row view of the murals underway, once ranked his top five walls.
Video of the wall's creation. [YouTube]
Artists work on the new wall, Saturday April 1st. [DNAinfo/Alisa Hauser]
Elijah Alvarado, artist and filmmaker who created the new wall at The Violet Hour. [DNAinfo/Alisa Hauser]
l-to-r: Painters Jabu Dawdu, ProbCause, Elijah Alvarado in front of a new Violet Hour wall .
An early Monday commuter walks past The Violet Hour. [DNAinfo/Alisa Hauser]