Singer Chris Brown and local artist Ron Bass have collaborated on a mural painted in Overtown on the wall of a restaurant called House of Wings.
It was unveiled Monday -- thanks to the help of Headliner Market Group -- to a crowd of schoolchildren eager to meet Brown, said Nikki Williams, the restaurant owner's sister. City of Miami Commissioner Keon Hardemon was also in attendance.
But Brown seems an unlikely figure to present to schoolchildren. In 2009, he was charged with two felonies for hitting his ex-girlfriend Rihanna. Two years later, he allegedly smashed a window in the dressing room of “Good Morning America.”
Ron Bass has worked with Brown before. Last month, Brown invited the Miami artist, who mainly uses acrylic paint, to his garage in Los Angeles to teach him how to use spray-paint.
“All I know is the individual I’ve met with today. Two individuals came together putting names aside to give back to the community. The kids will always remember that,” Bass said Wednesday afternoon. “I thought it would be great to bring something positive to Overtown. Most people know [the neighborhood] for its negativity.”
Their unfinished mural, on the left side of the restaurant’s entrance, took two days to paint. Because it is unfinished, a mural painted last year by Bass and some children from Overtown is still visible.
“We left [the new mural] unfinished on purpose. We wanted to let [the children] have their piece still,” Bass said.
He and Brown are working on a show for Art Basel, Bass says. He has no trouble separating Chris Brown the entertainer and Chris Brown the spray-painter.
“You kind of forget that he is Chris Brown. You’re just painting with a friend that you relate to on an artistic level,” he said.
h/t: The 305