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Heard on CultureShift

See the Evolution of the Stevie Wonder Mural Downtown

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Image credit: Ryan Patrick Hooper

London-based artist Richard Wilson estimates he spent $10,000 painting the mural, but says it’s just an extension of his fan-dom.

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Richard WilsonRyan Patrick Hooper
Ryan Patrick Hooper

Richard Wilson

London-based artist Richard Wilson has spent the last year in Detroit putting his paint brush to a colossal canvas on the south wall of the historic Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Detroit.

Measuring in at roughly 8,000-square-feet, the mural depicts a vibrant image of homegrown musical legend Stevie Wonder sitting at his keyboard, eyes covered in tinted shades with a bright smile across his face. The image is an homage to a photograph taken of Wonder in 1976 by photographer Douglas Kirkland.

Wilson’s work has been all the rave around the city for both its beauty and the fact that the painted portrait is a self-funded project. 

The part about footing the bill, which is something that everybody seems to find so crazy and ridiculous, and I get it on one hand, but at the same time, [Stevie] is that important to me,” says Wilson, who estimated the mural cost him about $10,000 to complete. “I think it’s that important [for us to] recognize these kind of people, who’ve had this incredible impact on humanity. I think we take it for granted sometimes. Even me — and I’m a super fan.”

Click the player above to hear WDET’s Ryan Patrick Hooper in conversation with artist Richard Wilson, and use the slider below to see the mural’s evolution.


CultureShift , Weekdays from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. on WDET 101.9

Your soundtrack to discovering arts, culture, food, music and the latest local events worth your time throughout metro Detroit.

cultureshift@wdet.org Follow @DETcultureshift

LaToya Cross, Producer, CultureShift

LaToya Cross is a Producer with CultureShift, where she produces in-depth content that spotlights creatives and individuals using their platform to examine, cultivate, shape and shift culture.

Latoya.cross@wdet.org Follow @ToizStory

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