Even before his untimely death, Kobe Bryant’s status as a Lakers legend has made him a mainstay on walls across Los Angeles for years. In the wake of Sunday’s tragedy—a helicopter crash that killed Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven other people—L.A. artists have splashed fresh murals on walls from Northridge to Mid-City and old murals have become makeshift memorials. The tributes seem to have a therapeutic effect for both muralists and the people who visit and view them.
Take a look at some of the most moving murals of the six-time NBA champion to grace L.A.’s edifices.
Los Angeles Convention Center, DTLA
This mural is located in a small alleyway in downtown and was painted by sports muralist Jonas Never back in 2015. In this image Kobe is grabbing his Laker’s jersey and appears to be yelling, while the words “Los Angeles Culture” are printed next to the superstar. Located in the 1300 block of Lebanon Street across from the L.A. Convention Center, downtown.
Collective Lifestyle, Northridge
In this mural Kobe is depicted with a wide grin with a graphic design in yellow, black, gray and white in the background. The image was created in 2018 by local artist Levi Ponce and is located in the Valley at the Collective Lifestyle store. 8906 Reseda Blvd., Northridge.
Pickford Market, Mid-City
The Kobe and Gigi Forever was painted in six hours by Venice-based muralist Jules Muck, who couldn’t believe the tragic news of the deaths of the Bryant and his daughter. The artist reveals she “was really upset while I was painting, fighting back tears especially the ‘Daddy’s Girl Banner.'” 4566 Pickford St., Mid-City.
Shoe Palace, Fairfax
In this mural by JCRo, Kobe appears to be mid-jump about to dunk a basket. The basketball star is wearing his Lakers uniform without his number with the hashtag #MambaOnMelrose written on the side. Visitors to the site have begun plastering it with Post-It notes with messages to Kobe. 7725 Melrose Ave., Fairfax.
VEM Exotic Rentals, Studio City
A soon as artist Art Gozukuchikyan, who goes by Artoon, heard the news, he decided to paint a mural of the L.A. icon and his 13-year-old daughter. “I didn’t believe it…It almost hits you in a way of a depression,” he recalls. “I got motivated and I’m like, I’m painting him.” 11467 Ventura Blvd., Studio City.
Priority Barber Club, Signal Hill
Another L.A. muralist, Mister Alek, knew the best way to honor Bryant was to head over to his friend’s barber shop and begin painting a mural of the star wearing his number 24 Lakers jersey and looking like he is ready to shoot a basket. This mural is located on the border of Long Beach and Signal Hill. 3390 Orange Ave., Signal Hill.
L.A.-based street artist Thierry Guetta, aka Mr. Brainwash, created this mural showcasing Bryant and his daughter Gigi, with the former basketball player wearing a Lakers sweatshirt against a colorful background and newspaper images of Bryant during his NBA years, on the front. And on the side of the building there is another image of Bryant in his purple Lakers uniform with a quote of his written next to him. This mural also pays tribute to the other 7 people who passed away with their names being written out on a wall next to the other two pictures. 1255 S. La Brea Ave., Mid-Wilshire.
Jimmy Jam T-Shirts, DTLA
L.A. artist Tha Sloe recreates one of the most famous and lovely images of the NBA legend and a baby Gigi, in which he’s seen gently kissing his daughter, while holding a basketball. The words “Mamba Forever” are written next to them. 1361 S. Main St., downtown.
Venice Beach Boardwalk, Venice Beach
Tattoo artist and muralist @cheink84 honored Bryant with a piece in Venice Beach near the skate park. The mural is a colorful work of graffiti art with a silhouette of Bryant surrounded by the words “Kobe,” “BLK MAMBA,” and “LA 24.” Located near the Venice Beach Skate Park.
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