Artist Ernel Martinez says he’s captured Coltrane’s love of music in the 30ft artwork
A new 30ft mural has been revealed in Philadelphia, displaying and celebrating saxophonist John Coltrane, who lived in the city periodically from 1952 until his death in 1967. The picture is inspired by an old mural which was ripped down by city developers three years ago. The new version displays Coltrane with his classic tenor instrument, his band in the background and a tender moment with his wife Alice.
Artist Ernel Martinez says he wanted to reflect John’s humanity, the love of his music and his instrument, evoking a warm and emotional glow. He told WRTI radio: “I wanted the mural to reflect his humanity, more than anything else: I wanted it to be rich and vibrant, similar to his music, but also layered and complex.”
The mural sits at the corner of Diamond Street and North 29th Street, three blocks from his former home – which has now been turned into a museum and visitor centre.