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West Town's new Matrix-like mural is first North Side commission for these South Side painters

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CMK Crew has worked together since the 1990s, when much of its work was illegal. Now they paint sought-after murals, among other artwork.
The CMK graffiti crew, longtime friends once known for illegal tagging on the South Side, hope their first North Side commission in West Town will bring more opportunities to share their art with Chicagoans north of the Loop.
Work is almost done on a new mural that wraps around the building housing Bridgewater Studio on the corner of North Ashland Avenue and West Haddon Avenue in West Town. The artwork is visible to drivers on busy Ashland Avenue, as well as the regular foot traffic going in and out of Dusty Groove Records across the street.
Trippy old televisions, a spacey octopus and a praying-mantis-like creature shooting a laser beam are just a few of the detailed elements on the one-story brick wall. The theme was loosely inspired by the movie The Matrix, said Rick Castro of Garfield Ridge, whose graffiti name is Gnome174.
“I’ve been wanting to paint old-fashioned TVs with glitchy stuff on the screen,” Castro says. “It basically snowballed from there.

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