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A New Kobe Mural Is Going Up At 1st And La Brea

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A photo of Kobe Bryant being painted at First Street and La Brea Avenue, January 2020 (Photo by Mariluz Gonzalez)

Fans all over the world are mourning the loss of Kobe Bryant. In L.A., tributes have been myriad and they have been grand, from the lighting of city buildings in purple and yellow to busses running “RIP Kobe” tickers, from memorials established outside the Staples Center to people buying up gear with his name and number on it.

Among the most recent to take up the torch is artist Levi Ponce, who along with a group of volunteers is putting up a Kobe mural at Custom Auto Craft on First Street and La Brea Avenue.

In conversation with KPCC, Ponce said that he had already been talking with other artists in the community about creating a Kobe memorial when he found out that the wall on La Brea would be available.

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“It just happened so organically,” he said. “It just really shows the power of Kobe bringing people together not just through basketball, but just through his presence and his greatness.”

Since Wednesday, Ponce and his team have been outside painting. The mural will include images of his championship trophies, his Oscar, his family life and more.

“We wanted it to reflect his work inside as well as outside of the basketball court,” said Ponce. “For me, for a lot of people, he was so much bigger than basketball.”