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Artist paints Robin Williams mural for free on SF’s Market Street

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A bicyclist speeds by a new mural honoring Robin Williams along Market Street between Sixth and Seventh streets on Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

The late Robin Williams’s twinkling, kind eyes are recognized the world over.

Now anyone walking down Market Street in San Francisco can see those eyes again, thanks to an Argentinian muralist who not only painted a mural of Williams for free, but spent $900 of his own money to do so.

Andres Iglesias, who signs his art with the pseudonym Cobre, just completed his wall-sized tribute to Williams Sunday.

Courtesy photo

“I think his eyes were particularly tricky,” Iglesias told the San Francisco Examiner.

“He is smiling, but at the same time he is sad,” he said. “I spent the most time making that work.”

Williams’ eyes, Iglesias added, are “99 percent of the story.”

Iglesias, 31, came to San Francisco for his first time last week on a whim. He was painting with his friend and fellow artist Cameron Moberg in Lafayette, Indiana, to spruce up a blue-collar neighborhood there, according to the Lafayatte Journal & Courier. Moberg invited Iglesias to paint over a mural Moberg himself had crafted on Market Street which had been tarnished, right alongside the old Hollywood Billiards building on Market between Sixth and Seventh Streets.

Williams particularly inspired Iglesias, he said.

“I think I watched Hook like 20 times when I was little, then he took my heart with Patch Adams.”

(Courtesy photo)

Passers-by would yell “Jumanji!” while Iglesias was painting. He spent $900 on paint and a lift to complete the mural.

The noted comedian and actor died in 2014 after struggling with depression. Williams’ loss was keenly felt in the Bay Area, where his ties ran deep — his early standup career began in San Francisco comedy clubs. Williams first moved to the Bay Area when he was a teen and attended Redwood High School in Larkspur and later the College of Marin for theater, and also owned a home in San Francisco’s Sea Cliff neighborhood, the Examiner previously reported.

Iglesias, who has painted the likenesses of people all over the world in Dubai, Brazil, Spain, Holland and Uruguay, was grateful to pay tribute to Williams in a place where he was so celebrated.

“I’m so happy to see that everybody loves him, it was my pleasure to make his portrait,” he said.

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