The chances are pretty good that if you have seen a major mural in Chicago in the city or on the expressway, it was created by muralist Jeff Zimmermann. Known for doing enormous scales of over hundred feet tall, Jeff has created more than 15 major murals in Chicago.
Zimmermann's newest public art work at Oak Street Beach is smaller scale and an opportunity for the artist to work with a sense of proportion. I spoke with Jeff mid-painting for Fear No ART at the Oak Street Beach underpass and in the interview he discusses his work discipline, his sense of timing and color, how he chooses his models and the environmental theme behind this public artwork commissioned by Chicago Park District and the Environmental Protection Agency.
In this new commission, the artist renders trash from the infamous Chicago beach with incredible sex appeal -- flashy and beautiful -- and the people from the beach with warmth and depth and intensity. The flow of the mural -- from the birds to the trash to the people to the popular beach foods -- tells a story of the beach experience with a message of keeping the beach healthy, all the while being subtle and engaging the viewer, allowing them to see themselves and their city in the story line. The artist's background as a graphic designer explains his deep use of color combined with his sense of commercial zeal.
Enjoy this video and interview with Jeff and see how people are reacting to having a new major public artwork in one of the greatest art cities in the world.