WICKER PARK — The latest mural to camouflage the outside "wall" at The Violet Hour is full of heads — and turning heads.
Earlier this month, we interviewed the mural's creator Daniel Wilson, a newly immigrated artist from Cambridge, England.
The 38-year-old Wilson moved to Chicago in September and lives in Humboldt Park with his fiancee, Lindsay Roffe.
"It is such a creative and dynamic city, so I feel very lucky and excited to be able to make my mark on and share my artwork with the amazing people of Chicago," Wilson said.
Here are our questions and Wilson's responses.
What is Your Mural About?
Basically it is about people. This work has all come out of portraits I have been doing called Lost Souls. It began because I was specifically looking into people suffering with depression; How they often feel lost and incapable of changing their situation (therefore why I portray them without arms, hands and legs), yet this usually hides a great strength in their personality. I see their bodies as monolithic and monumental, like the Easter Island Moai statues.
This particular piece has evolved from that into what I've now called Forgotten Souls. I'm looking into any of us who may feel forgotten, or more specifically have maybe had our rights forgotten, overlooked, somewhat discarded by the society we live in. Again, maybe feel we have very little means to change the situation; but I want people to see that everyone is as important as anyone else in the world and we can always find great strength within ourselves to overcome anything.
When did you start and complete the mural?
I started it on Monday, October 9 and I will have finished it by Friday the 13th.
What has the experience of creating the mural been like?
It has been an amazing experience. I'm getting to do what I've always wanted to do and being able to get my artwork seen by so many people from every walk of life is very meaningful. And getting to interact with the viewer is the most rewarding thing — hearing people's opinions immediately and getting their support. And the awesome people of Wicker Park are not shy about giving their opinions!
I have to thank The Violet Hour for the opportunity and their support... and my fiancée, the whole reason I'm here!
Who are the faces on the wall?
In a way they are no one and everyone. They are humans. We all have a story to tell, most of us have faced struggle, felt sad, and we can all be strong. Some are from my imagination, others are based on found images.
A face on the door of The Violet Hour by Daniel Wilson.
The Violet Hour, which opened in 2007 at 1520 N. Damen Ave. 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.