If you’re stuck in traffic trying to get on the 101 freeway in Los Angeles, you may be able to take a few moments to gaze upon a familiar face.
A 20-foot mural of Chester Bennington, Linkin Park‘s frontman who died at age 41 last month, has been painted on the back of the new Sherman Oaks branch of the rock-themed pizza restaurant Rock’n Pies. The artwork is visible from the on-ramp to the typically clogged northbound section of the 101 freeway on Coldwater Canyon Avenue, south of Riverside Drive.
“I’d been seeing that big blank wall from the 101 and thought it would be good for something,” artist Jonas Never told Variety in comments posted Tuesday. “When I heard Chester died, I immediately thought of that wall because I knew some of the band members lived in the Valley. I just texted Jim and offered to do it for free because it was the right thing to do.”
“I was leaving the kitchen last night at 11:30, and I was greeted by flashing lights, people taking pictures,” Rock’n Pies owner Jim Conners told the outlet. “When Jonas was working on it, everyone in their cars on the 101 were beeping their horns and cheering him on. It was pretty cool. Now there’s something to look at while you’re stuck in traffic.”
The mural shows Chester shirtless and smiling.
“I stumbled across this publicity still of him, smiling, very recognizable, with all his tattoos visible,” Never said. “I thought it would be better than having him up there screaming.”
Photos of the mural and of Never working on it were posted on the eatery’s Instagram page.
“We are honored to have such an amazing tribute to Chester on the wall of our building, and overwhelmed by the response from fans in the local community and all over the world,” read one post. “Thanks again @never1959, @_kryst_ and @mr_kub_ . Thank you @kroq for acknowledging this incredible artwork. And thank you, Chester for all the art you’ve produced over the years.”