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Lil Nas X honoured with incredible three-storey mural in Philadelphia ‘gaybourhood’

Emma Powys Maurice June 4, 2021
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Lil Nas X mural

Lil Nas X depicted on the Writer’s Block Rehab bar in Philadelphia (Instagram/@asheyeart)

Lil Nas X has been honoured with an incredible three-storey mural in the heart of Philadelphia’s downtown ‘gaybourhood’.

The LGBT+ icon now has a tribute as big as his fame, a 36-by-36-foot mural featuring three characters from his smash hit single “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)“.

The stunning image is the work of Philadelphia artist Ash Ryan, who painted it on the side of the Writer’s Block Rehab bar on Cypress Street.

“Three years back, we painted a mural on one side of the bar featuring Alan Rock, the great Harlem Renaissance leader, who also happened to be queer,” the bar’s owner, Ram Krishnan, told Variety.

“One hundred years after Rock’s time, I wanted another mural of someone who had made an equal name for himself in Black gay culture – someone who meant something to our community.

“As we looked at characters in today’s media with similar import, Lil Nas X revealed himself as that artist, one who is living his best self, was also an innovator, and an artist who best represented Black culture and queer culture.

“Besides,” he added, “I love that video, as it tells a story of both gay culture and that of people of culture.”

While many muralists do mockups of their murals on a computer before actually committing paint to a wall, Ryan didn’t. “I had it all in my head,” she said in an interview with Philly Mag.

The project was initially going to be “this small little thing,” but once she got started she knew she had to fill the whole space.

The artist went through 138 cans of spray paint in total, depicting the star in dreamy blue and purple tones that perfectly reflect the surreal world of “Montero,” while the clouds and crystals were added to make him look “heavenly, divine and spiritual”.

The enormous mural serves as a huge and uncomfortable reminder for all the outraged conservatives still fuming over Lil Nas X’s “evil” and “depraved” song – and we love to see it.

Related topics: lil nas x, Philadelphia

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