The Pope Francis Project / Cesar Viveros
This commemorative image was prompted by Pope Francis's visit to Washington DC, NYC, NY and Philadelphia from September 23 - 27, 2015. The artwork is the collaborative effort of well known, Philadelphia based Mural Artist Cesar Viveros and Landscape photographer Kyle Ober who were inspired to create a lasting depiction of this significant moment in history. Cesar has simultaneously created a full scale 3 panel exterior Mural in Philadelphia on the outside of St Malachy High School.
With more than 15 years creating public art in the United States and his native Mexico, Viveros has been collaborating with the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program since 1997 resulting in many examples of his work throughout the city. His public work has been inspired by the communities he has served throughout the years, where he has become the voice that allows him to create documentary work articulating individual stories to a broader audience. Many of his murals reflect the need of visual representation that stir social movements among groups otherwise ignored such as inmates in the State Correctional Institution at Graterford Prison, where he led the creation of the 2003-2004 Healing Walls murals (documented in the film Concrete, Steel and Paint )
Viveros believes that the history of America is made of small communities’ stories which can be told proudly when the individual is given the opportunity of expressing it in public settings. One example was the series of murals in the 2012-2013 "Imagining Frankford" project, where dozens of interviews that Viveros and his team documented, provided inspiration for the murals. In Camden, New Jersey, Viveros has spent over a decade telling positive stories through visual art about a community once labeled as the most dangerous in the country.
Viveros has received many unofficial awards given to him by the people whose stories are told through the murals he paints. Most recently, he was chosen by the Mural Arts Program as approved by the World Meeting of Families, to create a mural commemorating the visit of Pope Francis to Philadelphia in September 2015. He was selected as the finalist amongst multiple entrants, the final 3 of whose work was presented to the Vatican to choose from.