July 20, 2018 · 07:39 PM
Watch Will Smith And His Mother React To His New Mural In West Philadelphia
July 03, 2018 · BOTWC Staff
Photo via: Will Smith/YouTube
Before Will Smith became the prince of a town called Bel-Air, he was born and raised in West Philadelphia - which now has a 60-foot mural that was painted in the actor's honor.
Artist Richard Wilson, known for his celebrity murals, decided to paint an image of Smith on the side of Gevurtz Furniture at 4545 Girard Avenue, a location that is close to Smith's old neighborhood. Using Kehinde Wiley's portrait of Barack Obama as a reference, Wilson told the Philadelphia Tribune: "I wanted it to be in an area from where he's from. I wanted it to mean something. I’ve been so inspired by the way he’s lived his life and the positive things he’s said and done, I felt I had to do something here in Philadelphia."
On Sunday, Smith took to social media to respond to the honor, sharing a video along with the caption: "THANK U @RichardWilsonArtwork. I am Humbled & Honored! Hey, Philly... I’ll be Home SOON to See it in-person."
"The idea that there would be a mural of me on the side of a school in West Philadelphia just wrecked me," Smith said in a video he shared on his YouTube Channel. "Growing up, my mother and father and grandmother demanded no less of me than to represent the family every time I stepped out in a way that was helpful to others. To see my mother's face when she looked at the mural, that was profoundly moving for me."
Watch the full video featuring reactions from Smith, his mother, and other natives of West Philadelphia below.
According to the Philly Voice, Smith created merchandise inspired by Wilson's mural to raise funds for the Global Leadership Academy Charter School. The school will receive all of the proceeds.
Congratulations, Mr. Smith! Your talent, light, and passion for paying it forward is an inspiration to us all.
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