PISKV poses for a portrait at the basketball court of Red Bull Half Court in Rome, Italy on January 30, 2021. Photo: Mauro Puccini / Red Bull Content Pool.
Artists and communities collaborate to transform courts and leave a legacy.
Street artists and local communities are transforming basketball courts around the world and create an eye-catching legacy that brings vibrant colour to neighbourhoods. Here is all you need to know:
– The likes of renowned Italian artist PISKV and talented Nigerian graffiti artist Osa ‘Seven’ Okunpolor have helped transform 3×3 half courts globally, exploring the intersection between basketball and art.
– In Nigeria, Osa ‘Seven’ Okunpolor, one of Africa’s most talented and sought-after graffiti artists helped to renovate Ndubisi Kanu Park Court in Ikeja, Lagos State. He believes basketball is art, the art of bouncing, shooting, dribbling, and the courts should reflect that.
– The project, which was run in partnership with the Lagos parks authority, invited contributions from the local community, who incorporated their own designs into the overall artwork to promote unity and create a lasting legacy in the park.
– PISKV (real name Francesco Persichella) designed a new artwork that has given new life to Rome’s Scalo San Lorenzo neighbourhood for the 2021 edition of Red Bull Half Court in Italy’s capital city.
– The artist, born in Puglia but Roman by adoption, worked with volunteers from the local community to create his masterpiece which shows a player dunking within the grounds of the famous Colosseum.
– The finished painted court is one of the largest in Europe at around 800 sq m and the 28-year-old explained: “A player stands out in the Colosseum in the act of a dunk, the most famous act of Street Basketball. Dynamic lines and vividness of colours give strength to the design, really crushing the grey reality that previously distinguished this field.”
— Matteo Baruzzo, a member of the San Lorenzo Family basketball community, said: “This playground has always been a landmark of the city. They also come here to play from all the other neighbourhoods and the community has always been very active. Some of the young people, who come from disadvantaged situations, found new energy, and contributed together with PISKV to make it a reality that this slightly disfigured facility that had been abandoned over the years could be restyled.”
– Another Italian court renovation in Bologna further reflects the philosophy of leaving something lasting behind for local communities. Located in the Garden Graziella Fava, the rejuvenated court features a massive mural of the sea god Neptune.
– Award-winning artists Truly Design Crew created the work in collaboration with Regaz dei Fava, a community of about 80 young people of different origins and neighbourhoods, who have come together to make the gardens a meeting place, with the playground as its beating heart.
– In Switzerland, artist Serge Lowrider colourfully transformed a court at Lausanne’s sporting heart, the Vidy Bowl. Lowrider has a long artistic connection to basketball, having worked with Nike and produced commissions for Michael Jordan’s 50th birthday and for the March Madness tournament.
– Over in Turkey, Red Bull Half Court partnered with the Mural Istanbul festival to transform three of the country’s courts. Designer and muralist Max On Duty took inspiration from local legend Sinan Güler for his revamping of the court in Istanbul’s Abbas Ağa Park. In Ankara, graffiti artist Esk Reyn created a masterpiece of colours and angles on a court in the city’s Anıttepe Park. While in Bursa, street artist Mr. Hure was responsible for the abstract creation at Hüdavendigar Kent Park.
– Away from the courts, PISKV also helped standout ballers Dušan Bulut, Joey ‘King Handles’ Haywood, Paul Gudde, Li Tsz Kwan and Jamad Fiin bring their dream court visions to life in a different project after he produced numerous sketches by hand before creating the final illustration for each idea digitally.
– He added: “I was happy to draw these courts for some of the players I’ve watched every day on social media. I love the concept of public art and they increase the sense of community.”
-Red Bull Half Court reaches its conclusion at the World Final this month on the same iconic court where PISKV painted his mural in Rome.