ED (Bad Boy) BROWN
20 x 16 inches, assemblage, cut paper, collage and mixed media on wood panel
Ed Brown was a Chicago-based fighter who was about to break through and hit big on a national level before he was gunned down and killed by a rival gang on Chicago's West Side in December of 2016.
ART DIRECTOR: Katherine Shady
On March 14, 2017 I received an email from a Chicago resident upon seeing this illustration in print. With Clare's permission, here is a portion of her letter to me:
"Wayne, your illustration on the late Ed Brown is a thoughtful narrative piece that would help facilitate conversations with youth (on the topic of gun violence) throughout Chicago communities. I've been wanting to do more to spread the word but am not sure how to contribute beyond hosting violence-prevention forums. Art has a special way of communicating.
The piece speaks of the countless gunfire tragedies that take place in Chicago streets. It's devastating to read about it in the papers and the impact is even more profound when it's someone you know.
During my first week working, I met a community person who had a scar on his face. After a few minutes of conversing with him, we shared some sacred moments regarding his experiences in Chicago streets. It turns out the scar on his face was due to a gunshot wound. We laughed and even cried for the next hour as we explored ways to improve experiences for at-risk African American males. He was killed at my park the very next day.
Just some thoughts to help you understand I appreciate your intentionality and processing in creating the illustration on Ed Brown. He was a celebrity in the streets, a beacon of hope for the (Chicago) boxing community and an example of the vulnerability that lies in our communities."
Clare Rodriguez, Chicago resident