Last month, Linkin Park fans were saddened to hear of frontman Chester Bennington’s untimely death. The tributes from fans and fellow musicians came pouring in online and, over the weekend, family and friends honored the late singer with a funeral service in Palos Verdes, California.
But one man, a local muralist named Jonas Never, decided to honor Bennington’s legacy in his own way.
Last week, Never painted a large-scale portrait of the Linkin Park singer on the back wall of Sherman Oaks pizzeria Rock‘n Pies, which borders the 101 Freeway, Variety notes.
The restaurant, owned by Jim Conners, shared an image of the final piece over Instagram, as well as some shots of the mural in progress.
“We are honored to have such an amazing tribute to Chester on the wall of our building, and overwhelmed by the response from fans in the local community and all over the world,” the caption read.
Never, a Linkin Park fan, had painted murals for the eatery in the past. When he heard about Bennington’s death, he knew the Sherman Oaks location (there is also a Rock‘n Pies in Santa Monica) was the perfect spot paint a mural in the singer’s honor.
“I’d been seeing that big blank wall from the 101 and thought it would be good for something,” Never told Variety. “When I heard Chester died, I immediately thought of that wall because I knew some of the band members lived in the Valley. I just texted Jim and offered to do it for free because it was the right thing to do.”
Never said that he chose the particular image of Bennington to recreate, showing the tattooed musician smiling and at ease, because he “thought it would be better than having him up there screaming.”
Onlookers seem to agree. Conners told Variety the mural has attracted attention from people in traffic and those just walking by.
“I was leaving the kitchen last night at 11:30, and I was greeted by flashing lights, people taking pictures,” he told the outlet. “When Jonas was working on it, everyone in their cars on the 101 were beeping their horns and cheering him on. It was pretty cool. Now there’s something to look at while you’re stuck in traffic.”
Bennington was found dead in his Los Angeles County home on July 20. The Los Angeles County Coroner’s office confirmed to HuffPost that Bennington died by suicide.
Following his death, Linkin Park released a statement saying, “Our hearts are broken. The shockwaves of grief and denial are still sweeping through our family as we come to grips with what has happened.”
Last week, Bennington’s wife, Talinda, also shared a heartbreaking statement.
“We had a fairytale life and now it has turned into some sick Shakespearean tragedy. How do I move on? How do I pick up my shattered soul?” she wrote.
Over the weekend, the musician was honored at a private funeral service in Los Angeles, which was attended by more than 500 family and friends, including his Linkin Park bandmates and other musicians, the Associated Press reported. Warner Bros. Records told the outlet more than 300 fan-organized memorials were set up for Bennington around the world.