A 20-foot mural dedicated to Chester Bennington is painted on the back of a newly opened pizzeria in Sherman Oaks

By Yvonne Juris
August 03, 2017 01:35 PM
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Days after his funeral was held in Rancho Paolo Verdes, California, fans are continuing to pay tribute to Chester Bennington in creative and artistic ways.

One of the latest memorials to receive attention was a 20-foot mural painted on the back of a newly opened pizzeria in Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles.

It took local muralist Jonas Never, 35, just two days to create the mural with spray cans and house paint, the artist told Variety.

“I used to take the pitching mound to the sound of ‘One Step Closer,’ ” said the former baseball player-turned-artist, who worked with artists Kryst and Kub to complete the piece. “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.”

“I really didn’t want people to forget about Chester, his music… everything,” Never wrote to Entertainment Weekly over email. “I’d seen the wall while I was painting a couple other murals out there, but I hadn’t been able to think of a subject matter worthy of the visibility from the 101. Soon as I heard the news of his passing, I was like, ‘Oh man, that’s the spot,’ especially since the 101 is the way his bandmates would go back home to Agoura.”

Adds Kryst, “The relationship to Linkin Park’s music that I have goes way back as I went to school with [guitarist] Brad [Delson]’s brother and have friends who are really close with them. [Bennington’s death] hit really close to home. It made us proud that they made it and were very successful and getting the recognition they deserved. Because it hit close to home, I reached out to Jonas about doing a mural of him which he responded with, ‘I have a wall already. Let’s do it!’”

The depiction of a shirtless and smiling Bennington — painted on the rock-themed pizza restaurant Rock’n Pies — is visible from the 101 freeway near the Coldwater Canyon exit.

“I’d been seeing that big blank wall from the 101 and thought it would be good for something,” said Never, who also created a mural of Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl for the front of the pizzeria.

With the blessing of Jim Connors, the owner of Rock’n Pies, Never and his team got to work. “I’ve been thrilled to see the reaction and hopefully the mural will keep his memory alive and give family, fans, and friends a place where they can kind of ‘visit’ him,” he told EW.

The image was created over the course of two days, with Kryst and Kub completing the background work against Never’s image of Bennington. “I knew it was finished once we put the white glow around him…then it all made sense,” Kryst told Variety.

Last week Rock’n Pies shared a photo on Instagram of the artist creating the mural.

“When life leaves us blind, love keeps us kind.” – Chester Bennington. New mural in progress from our friend @never1959 at our Sherman Oaks location,” wrote the restaurant owners.

In another post shared by Rock’n Pies of the completed mural, the owners of the establishment said they were “honored to have such an amazing tribute to Chester on the wall” of their building.

RELATED VIDEO: Linkin Park Frontman Chester Bennington, 41, Found Dead of Apparent Suicide: Report

Since the singer’s untimely death, a massive outpouring of tributes and condolences have been seen across the globe.

Linkin Park bassist Dave Phoenix Farrell — who shared an emotional message about Bennington on Twitter last Saturday — has also been documenting and sharing images on social media of tributes being held in countries such as Russia, Chile and Italy.

On Tuesday, Chris Martin also honored the late Linkin Park frontman with a moving rendition of the band’s Grammy-winning song “Crawling.”

He performed the song live to a packed MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey during Coldplay’s A Head Full of Dreams concert.

The Linkin Park lead singer was laid to rest on Sunday in a private service near the late singer’s home at South Coast Botanical Garden in Palos Verdes Estates. Over 500 of Bennington’s closest friends and family members attended the ceremony.

Bennington was found dead in his estates home on July 20. On July 24, the L.A. County Coroner’s Office confirmed to PEOPLE that Bennington died of suicide by hanging. He was 41 and leaves behind wife Talinda and his six children.