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June 07, 2018

This is what the new Will Smith mural looks like

Can you tell what famous portrait inspired the artwork?

Murals Will Smith
Will Smith JC Olivera/SIPA USA

Will Smith at the premiere Of Netflix's "Bright."

Just last week plans for a Will Smith mural in West Philadelphia – which, somehow, did not exist already – were revealed, and now we have a complete view of the 65-foot artwork honoring the Fresh Prince.

The artist, London-based Richard Wilson, told 6ABC he had long wanted to do a mural of the Philadelphia-native actor and rapper, presumably finding a canvas somewhere in West Philly, because, well, you know the song.

With some help from Google Maps, Wilson found a location for the mural – a warehouse not far from the Global Leadership Academy Charter School at 45th Street and Girard Avenue – and connected with Mural Arts Philadelphia to make it happen.

Though Smith served as Wilson's original inspiration, when it came to actually completing the work, he looked toward President Barack Obama, and his portraitist Kehinde Wiley, to compose the artwork.

Rather than depicting Smith straight out of a 1994 "Fresh Prince" episode, Wilson chose to show Smith seated in a wooden chair and wearing a clean suit (paired with Air Jordans) – sitting not unlike President Obama is in his National Portrait Gallery depiction, below.

To make the connection between the two portraits even clearer, Wilson added some leaf motifs for good measure. The mural took 12 days to complete.

Much of the portrait's progress has been shared on social media, including Wilson's Instagram. Take a look at the completed product below.



This is the first mural solely dedicated to Smith in Philadelphia, though there is one smaller mural, painted in 2012 on a column at the 46th Street stop of the Market-Frankford Line, that depicts Smith and other noted West Philly natives, including Joe Frazier and Judith Jamison.

School officials are reaching out to Smith to coordinate a visit in the next few months, CBS3 reported.