Olay Mural

This post was authored by a student who recently spent time in Pilsen as part of the Associated Colleges of the Midwest’s Chicago Program. The initiative aims to engage students from across the region with various aspects of life in our city.

Located near 16th and Paulina, this 2013 untitled piece bv Max Sansing was commissioned by cosmetic brand Olay.

In accordance with the company’s intent, the mural depicts the profile of three women, each embellished with a flower in her hair. From left to right, they represent various ethnic and racial backgrounds. Because of the artist’s consideration and inclusion of diversity, the artwork effectively demonstrates beauty in all its forms, not confined to one racial definition.

A native of the South Side, Sansing has painted murals across the city and has also worked extensively in the realms of electronic media and graphic design. His work has been displayed in galleries across the country. He counts Norman Rockwell, Maxfield Parrish and Gustav Klimt among some of his influences. Sansing is also the co-founder of RK Design; an art consulting group that specializes in murals and graphic design.

In this piece, Sansing employed a warm palette; strong, glowing hues of red, orange, and yellow immediately draw the viewer’s attention and contrast with the dullness of its concrete “canvas” — an elevated commercial train track. Once empty and idle, these visually unappealing walls have now been revitalized by Sansing and others’ art.

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