Artist makes his mark with murals

Artist Rahmaan Statik created the mural at Garrett’s Popcorn, located 757 E. 87th St. Photo provided by Rahmaan Statik.
Artist Rahmaan Statik created the mural at Garrett’s Popcorn, located 757 E. 87th St. Photo provided by Rahmaan Statik.

Artist makes his mark with murals

By Tia Carol Jones

The brightly colored murals that Rahmaan ‘Statik’ Barnes creates can be seen all over the city, from his mural at Garrett’s Popcorn off 87th and Cottage Grove to the mural of Farley “Jackmaster” Funk on 87th and Kimbark, to the series of murals he created for the city of Rosemont.

Rahmaan Statik has had a knack for creating art since he was in the second grade. In Elementary School, his work won art contests. He always wanted to be an artist. He has consistently been making art since then.

In High School, Rahmaan Statik started off as a graffiti artist and airbrushing clothing. It was alluring for him to create the work that would be seen on the street. Rahmaan graduated from the American Academy of Art in 2005 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Multimedia Web Design and a Minor in Oil Painting.

Rahmaan Statik connected with the Chicago Public Art Group in 2003, while he was attending the American Academy of Art. The group is best known for the mural on the Avalon Regal Theatre, located at 1645 E. 79th St. He wanted to learn how to make murals the way the people in the group made murals, while still keeping his connection to Hip Hop and the streets.

“This is a mission I’ve known I was supposed to be on since I was a kid, and I still haven’t stopped and I refuse to stop,” he said. Rahmaan Statik’s inspiration to create his work has changed throughout the 30 years he has been creating art. When he was a kid, he wanted acceptance from his peers and to show his work was good. After art school, he strived to be better than Michelangelo and Rembrandt. Now, his motive is more spiritual and he wants to challenge the old masters.

“We have resources to our advantage that artists of previous generations did not have, that separates us. That makes what we do different,” he said, adding that he wants to inspire people to make good art themselves.

Rahmaan Statik also wants people to be passionate about their art. He is looking to create an Urban Renaissance. He believes people who have ideas for art projects should follow through and bring them to fruition, it might be the thing that sets the next trend.

Rahmaan Statik hasn’t just created work in Chicago and the Chicagoland area, he also has created work in Indiana and Wisconsin. He is working on the development of a map of his murals.  “I try to make the newest project I’m working on my best project. Especially the older I got, with creating art and murals, it puts me in competition with myself,” he said.

The work he is most proud of is the work where he was allowed to have the most creativity. The projects that were most fun for him were the ones where the client let his creativity shine and didn’t interfere with his creative process.

Rahmaan Statik loves his job. He wants parents and teachers to promote children having hobbies at a young age. He believes it will give them a better idea of what they want to do for the rest of their lives. He also advises that people should pick a career that they love.

“I’m glad I didn’t just take the orders of my Elders and not have faith in myself,” he said, adding that people should have a blind faith in God and in their career. “There’s a reason why Muhammad Ali prayed before those boxing matches and became champion. Get involved in prayer, meditation, whatever it is you believe in, include that in your practice and understand what faith is.”

For more information about Rahmaan Statik, visit www.rahmaanstatik.com.

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