This mural, formerly located on the wall of a building housing Rabble Coffee, is a portrait of the American musician, songwriter, vocalist, and civil rights activist Nina Simone (1933-2003). Simone was known for including provocative social commentary in her work, most notably in the songs “To Be Young, Gifted and Black” (1969) and “Mississippi Goddam” (1964). The mural was created during an informal artist’s residency in Indianapolis in the summer of 2019 and was modeled on a portrait of the singer originally created by the French photographer Gilles Petard c. 1968. The owner of the coffee shop adjacent to the mural, who had commissioned it, painted it out about a month after it was installed due to complaints from her customers about some previously-created, racially insensitive murals the artist had done in other cities.
Jules Muck, aka MuckRock, is a street artist from England who learned her craft in the 1990s from Lady Pink and many other legends of graffiti and hip-hop culture. After working extensively in New York, she moved to Venice, California in 2008. She currently works nationally and internationally, with major works in various locations including Miami’s famous Wynwood district, produced with Art Basel Miami. MuckRock’s street works are both invited and unsanctioned, and she has created work for gallery exhibitions.