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Kobe Bryant Muralist: 'He Deserves To Be Painted'

Art Gozukuchikyan painted a Kobe Bryant mural outside of VEM Exotic Rentals on Ventura Boulevard in Studio City. (Chava Sanchez/LAist)
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Within an hour of Kobe Bryant's death last month, artist Art Gozukuchikyan decided:

"I should paint him. He deserves to be painted."

And he had the perfect space, the exterior of a specialty car rental business in Studio City he'd already been commissioned to paint.

Within 24 hours, Gozukuchikyan, who goes by "Artoon," had finished a tribute to Kobe and Gianna Bryant. His murals (there's another in Mid-City) are among dozens of public memorials that have appeared across Southern California in the month since the Jan. 26 crash.