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Local Artist Paints Mural At Ben's Chili Bowl

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A new mural by artist Aniekan Udofia painted on the side of Ben's Chili Bowl in Washington, D.C.
Ashley Dejean
A new mural by artist Aniekan Udofia painted on the side of Ben's Chili Bowl in Washington, D.C.

Artist Aniekan Udofia and his apprentices spent the weekend painting a mural on a wall at Ben's Chili Bowl. It depicts some of restaurant's most famous patrons: Bill Cosby, Barack Obama, Donnie Simpson, and Chuck Brown.

"Because Bill Cosby is the only finished portrait right now, people have been commenting on that," he says. "They are like 'wow, it looks like he's about to start talking. Looks like he's jumping out the wall...'"

It's not the only mural popping up around the city. The founder of Murals DC says four have been painted in the last few weeks, and that there are more to come.

"The progress a lot of us have made with the medium has been really amazing," says apprentice Annie Boisvert. "The speed at which you can apply spray paint on these walls is really amazing. It's much faster than any other medium."

Kamal Ben Ali, who owns Ben's Chili Bowl, says the artwork makes perfect sense for his restaurant.

"We're a historically African-American city... a historically African American area here on U street... and a historically African American restaurant," he says. "So to have these four great African-American figures is just adding to this history of U Street and preserving that great legacy."

Udofia and his team hope to finish the mural by Tuesday.

Photos: Ben's Chili Bowl Mural


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