Street artist MADSTEEZ, in collaboration with Turnaround Arts: California, Branded Arts and Citizen AOL, completed a mural of Martin Luther King Jr. in Compton on Friday, January 15th. With helping hands from students at King Elementary, the layers of paint eventually revealed a masterpiece of the face for whom their school was named and the concept for which he was most famous. DREAM is preached at the viewer as MLK’s eyes does exactly so, directed upwards and out of the confines of the mural at an American flag and the California sky.
Following the King Elementary Compton Festival of the Arts in November of last year, Turnaround Arts partnered again with the school in December to produce this MLK mural, committing to their noble mission to effectively integrate art into their community. For said community, it’s hard to think of an artist better than MADSTEEZ with his easygoing surfer vibe oozing charm and positivity. Nearly blind in one eye, the artist is famous for his kaleidoscopic bursts of pattern and color often representing famous faces and public figures.
In a neighborhood whose name is synonymous with a notoriously turbulent history, the vibrant mural is here just in time to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr., an enduring symbol of peace, and to remind Compton’s future—and us all—to dream.