A Chicago mural celebrating Frankie Knuckles – painted after his death in 2014 – has been removed after 415 days.
The New York-born DJ was a key player in the development of house music throughout the 80s in Chicago, and died in March last year from complications arising from Type II diabetes. He was 59.
The mural was removed on July 30, replaced with the city’s brown paint covering, the Chicago Reader reports. Artists’ group Chicago Mural Works are trying to reproduce the image through a crowdfunding project on GoFundMe.com, through which they explain their feelings about the removal and their views on the importance of the project:
“On July 30th, 2015, I was alerted that half the mural had been buffed (painted over) with brown paint. My first thought was it was the city because brown paint is the mark of the city buff. I went to check it out for myself because I was in disbelief. Indeed, it was half gone over.”
“I went into the store below the building to talk to the owner just to get the runaround. His biggest reason was the building needed renovations. I sort of understood that, but still, I still saw no reason to paint over half the mural. I asked him what the plan is once the said renovations were done and got no solid answer. He then asked me “How long did you expect it to stay up? It’s been up for over a year. That’s a pretty good run. You guys got a lot of media attention of it so that’s good, right?” I was shocked. We never asked for any of that. We didn’t do it for that. And the justification that the wall had been up over a year really got to me. Like it was some consolation prize. We were under the impression it would not be touched.”
The artists hope to raise $2,000, and are currently searching for a permanent location for a reproduction. The original tribute to “the Godfather of House” was in the Logan Square district of Chicago, on West Fullerton at Sacramento Avenue.