There’s one week left until the Renaissance World Tour comes to Raymond James Stadium, but Cam Parker has already brought a bit of Queen Bey to Tampa.
Three Beyoncés, actually, accented with glitter paint on a lemonade-yellow background.
The eye-popping new mural at 1703 N Tampa St. is not just bait for your next Instagram post — although Parker hopes you do snap a picture, and please tag @beyonce.
The mural is also his way of saying thank you.
Parker, the Tampa artist also known as Painkiller Cam, rarely shows up to concerts empty-handed. He made a painting for Janelle Monáe when she came to town. Custom denim jackets for Lizzo and Diana Ross. A mural for Lady Gaga, which she gushed about onstage in 2017.
“I’m like a fangirl, except I don’t necessarily want an autograph from somebody,” Parker said. “I want to give them something as a repayment for the inspiration that they give me.”
For years, Parker has dreamed of painting a tribute mural for Beyoncé. At 39, he’s just a few years younger than the singer.
“It’s just really inspiring to have such a beacon of Black excellence,” he said. “Growing up in that same timeframe as her and watching her jump all these hurdles and beat all these records, I don’t think there’s any idea that’s too big for anybody to execute. And that is why she’s getting this monster of a gift from me.”
It took Parker roughly a week to complete the piece, which he is wrapping up today. That estimate doesn’t count the time he spent sleuthing on TikTok and Twitter for reference photos from the ongoing tour. His detective work was channeled into three different mural mockups before he even got to the wall.
If it feels like the painting popped up overnight, that’s because Parker became nocturnal to pull it off.
“For the first four days, I would go at about 11 at night and then finish up at like 3, 4 or 5 in the morning,” Parker said. “Yesterday, I was there for 13 hours.”
Working so late helped him avoid the worst of the heat and traffic along the busy one-way street. A forgiveness-over-permission kind of guy, he also brought cones to block off a lane of traffic near his work zone. And a speaker, to blast some Beyoncé.
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Friends stopped to drop off Gatorade and sandwiches. Those who recognized him from the internet honked and shouted words of encouragement as they drove by.
“Painkiller!” they screamed. “Go, go, go!”
The painting may be finished, but Parker’s quest is not. Beyoncé still needs to see the mural.
The next phase of his plan includes a social media blitz to make sure his gift is on her radar. He has already started posting, tagging Beyoncé, her production company, her creative director and Jay-Z. There will be a local television news appearance right before the show. He wants people to enjoy the art, to post selfies and tweet about it.
If that doesn’t work, Parker plans to deliver news of the mural himself. He shelled out for a ticket in the Club Renaissance section of the stadium next week, where Bey is sure to strut past during her set. He will wear a custom head-to-toe look, the details of which he is keeping top secret for now, designed to catch her eye.
“There’s no way that she’s not going to see me,” he said. “That’s my mindset.”
Update: Thanks to readers and fans on social media, Beyoncé’s team did notice Cam’s mural. To learn what happened next, read our follow-up story here.