The mural Hollywood Jazz: 1945 – 1972 for many it is the great work of the American artist Richard Wyatt Jr. And it is not only because of its dimensions, but also because of its valuable skill in painting on ceramic tiles and then enameled. In addition to the fact that its theme has given it enormous popularity, since some of the best composers and performers of jazz music of the entire 20th century appear in it. There you can see the faces and gestures of people like Chet Baker, Gerry Mulligan, Charlie Parker,Tito Puente, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat "King" Cole, Shelly Manne, Dizzy Gillespie, Billie Holiday or Duke Ellington. True emblems of American culture.
Richard Wyatt Jr. Capitol Records Mural
And as if that weren't enough, such a mural is at the foot of one of the most charismatic buildings in the city of Los Angeles. We refer to the Capitol Building, which in turn, being the headquarters of a reference record company, is linked to music.
For all these reasons, this work done in 1990 and recently restored by Wyatt himselfis considered to be his masterpiece. However, over the years he has made many other murals, especially in the city of Los Angeles, although there are also some in other places.of the country.
The truth is that this creator born in 1955, today is a highly regarded artist for this type of commission. And that his origin in the Los Angeles neighborhood ofComptondid not foresee such a development. Don't forget that Compton is considered one of the most criminalized and poorest areas in California and United States. A place where the vast majority of the population is African-American, which is why it is also one of the cradles of rap music.
Well, Richard Wyatt Jr. is also black, but as a child he was not into music or the crime of the neighborhood street gangs. Being very young he already showed attitudes for painting, so he soon participated in artistic programs until he got a scholarship and was able to receive extensive training.
In this way he has become one of the referents of art made by blacks in the United States, even though when he started there weren't that many. However, one of them considers him a key influence: the painter Charles White. An artist who, in addition to murals, has made innumerable images and paintings that have become icons of African-American culture. A creator that we will talk about in more depth on another occasion.