The Artist Behind The LeBron James Mural In Venice Painted Over It Because We Can't Have Nice Things
It didn't take long for Jonas Never's latest street art to cause a stir. Last Friday, the renowned Los Angeles artist painted a mural of LeBron James sporting a Lakers jersey with elaborate lettering proclaiming "The King of LA."
But just five days later on Wednesday, Never was back at Baby Blues BBQ in Venice rolling white paint over his work. That's because in its short life on the wall, the LeBron mural was vandalized twice.
#NEWVIDEO: surveillance footage of LeBron James mural being defaced a 2nd time. #BabyBluesBBQ in #Venice shared it with us and said it happened around midnight Wednesday. The artist, Jonas Never painted over his own work today, saying he didn't have to restore it— again. @ABC7 pic.twitter.com/upis2OJ9ZC— Anabel Muñoz (@abc7anabel) July 12, 2018
After the first defacement, Never and fellow artist "Menso One," who created the lettering for the mural, amended the piece by removing the "of" in "The King of LA," thinking that might be what offended certain Laker fans. But it didn't stop the mural from being vandalized again.
"I don't know if its ... LeBron haters or Kobe fans or just someone who wants attention," Never tells a passerby in video taken as he whitewashes his own art. "The funny thing is I painted Kobe a couple years ago. People were very quick to forget that one."
The mural was a hot button issue from the start. In a now-deleted tweet, one Laker fan wrote the address of the building the mural was on and offered fellow fans $300 to destroy it and upload video of their vandalism. He later said he was joking.
For his part, the artist seemed to take it all in stride.
"Fun while it lasted!" Never wrote in an Instagram post. "Thanks to everyone (both the good and the bad) for making this mural such a hot topic... and really just making the Lakers part of the conversation again."
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