Pilsen Murals | The Most Beautiful Places in Chicago
Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood is famous for its vibrant murals. The Southwest Side neighborhood has a large Mexican population, and the many murals that pepper the community with bold colors and figures reflect the Mexican tradition of using public art to express a political message. The first mural to be credited as the inception of that tradition in Pilsen was Mario Castillo’s Peace, located near 19th and Halsted streets, which was painted in 1968 to express opposition to the Vietnam War. It was later removed in 1992, according to Block Club Chicago. But many works remain and are still being created today. Mexican-born artist Hector Duarte has left his artistic mark on the neighborhood on the side of a building at 1900 West Cullerton Avenue with a mural called Gulliver in Wonderland. He also created the mosaic mural Ice Cream Dream at the Western Pink Line station, among others. In 2021, artist Mauricio Ramirez painted the Pilsen Warrior mural near 18th Street and Ashland Avenue. The piece depicts a boy looking up to an older man, who in turn looks up to the warrior as a hero. “Pilsen is changing and there’s a lot of weird things that are happening. Gentrification’s one,” Ramirez told Chicago Tonight: Latino Voices. “I feel like for every vape shop that opens up in a community, there should be some sort of cultural, historical piece to kind of counteract it.” Read more about the history of Pilsen’s murals at our My Neighborhood: Pilsen site.