Artist hopes Sioux City mural will bring the wall to life

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – For more than a week, a South Korean graffiti artist has been transforming the side of a building into larger-than-life wall art.

Located on the exterior wall of J&L Staffing and Recruiting, 219 West Seventh St., are illustrations of three young women, dressed in traditional Korean hanbok dresses, surrounded by compass flowers.

The girls, all of mixed heritage, are meant to represent the melting pot that is Sioux City. The work should be completed soon.

The Sioux City Journal reports that the artist behind the mural is Chris Changyang Shim, a 32-year-old artist who grew up in the countryside near Seoul, South Korea.

Known professionally as Royyal Dog, he initially wanted to draw a style of graffiti art called Manhwa, which is similar to Japanese manga or comic book art.

“I loved Hip-Hop music and culture,” he said. “Graffiti was a big part of this culture.”

The same was true of the style of photorealism that Royal Dog uses for wall art. Using conventional paints as well as spray paint, his work is known for its color and attention to detail.

“Nothing is more depressing than a black, gray or white wall,” he said. “Art can bring a wall to life. “

Local civic leaders seem to agree.

An all-day alley art festival was held in downtown Sioux City on September 25, giving local artists the opportunity to use brick walls as an artistic canvas.

Royal Dog’s own tribute to Sioux City – a partnership between the city and J&L Staffing – is the latest piece in a multi-year, multi-million dollar project to revamp West Seventh Street. More murals are expected to be painted on the Seventh West Corridor over the next year.

“People love to watch me paint,” Royal Dog said. “They will keep an eye on the progress. It almost looks like I’m doing a little show. My scaffolding becomes like a stage.

It is in this context where we are completely at ease.

First gained attention for his art in the United States in 2016, Royyal Dog created a large-scale mural in tribute to late NBA star Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles as well as a special mural saluting the First Lady. Michelle Obama in Chicago.

Next, Royyal Dog would like to finish a mural of hip-hop legend Snoop Dogg which he started some time ago.

Most of all, he would like to continue painting murals that celebrate multiculturalism.

“We all come from different heirlooms,” said Royal Dog. “We should be proud of where we came from.

About Dawn Valle

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