CHICAGO — JC Rivera thought about hurricanes, he thought about his childhood in Puerto Rico and what happened whenever a storm passed through. Plywood would fly up across every window and every store front. He thought about this the other day, while driving through Chicago, passing business after business hidden behind a blank landscape of paneling.
Rivera is an artist, known for his gold, sleepy-eyed bear in boxing gloves, a ubiquitous bit of street art across Chicago, seen on the sides of buildings and vans, pizza boxes and skateboards. So after many store fronts across Chicago were shattered and looted this past week, while protests clogged streets and the name “George Floyd” traveled across the world, Rivera kept getting asked by friends and admirers why he was staying so quiet, why he wasn’t saying anything online or creating anything to acknowledge the moment.