A Little Bit About Basketball Court Murals
Seems like basketball court murals have been happening more and more in the past few years. The idea of an artist applying their talent to the surface of a basketball court is not new. Robert Indiana did it in 1977 for the Milwaukee Bucks. But having street artists do it is a much more recent thing.
In the 1980s, Keith Haring did a wall at a public pool and both sides of a handball court wall. But painting on a vertical concrete slab is different than painting on a basketball court surface which takes a beating every day. Special paint is used, applied with rollers, and the image needs to be vibrant enough to withstand play and the elements.
Dan Peterson, founder of non-profit Project Backboard is probably the reason for the present proliferation of basketball court murals. In 2015, he got his start by simply going around Memphis, TN painting game lines on public outdoor courts. He asked a local artist, whose sculptures sat next to a court, to pick the colors for the lines and the artist reimagined the whole surface. People loved it. And now Dan zips all over to rehab and beautify basketball courts, compelled by the belief that every community should have access to a safe and inviting space to play basketball. Here's an interview with Dan: Voyage LA.
Here are a couple of photo roundups of basketball court murals: Curbed and Architectural Digest. And then here are some highlights from specific artists. Mark Paul Deren aka @madsteez: designboom and HYPEBEAST. Lakwena Maciver, @lakwena: HYPEBEAST and Southwest Times Record. Nina Chanel Abney, @ninachanel: ninachanel.com. Pedro Campiche aka @akacorleone: Colossal and Laughing Squid.