Art & Design

Nike and ARAL Cru dedicate murals to Kobe Bryant

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Nike Philippines honored the legacy of Kobe Bryant (1978 – 2020) with Mamba Week from August 23 by bringing together athletes, communities, inspiration and innovation which commemorated his enduring legacy and transcendent Mamba Mentality. 

In another chapter of the Mamba Week tribute, Nike teamed up with ARAL Cru, a local graffiti trio from the community, to dedicate two murals around Metro Manila celebrating Kobe Bryant, his legacy, and Mamba Mentality. 

Marking the Black Mamba’s Last Historic Visit (in Araneta City)

The first mural that ARAL Cru created directly faces the historic Araneta Coliseum, the venue where Kobe Bryant made his last appearance in Manila. 

The portrait of Kobe on the right side of the artwork is derived from a photo of him smiling during his last visit to the coliseum. This mural depicts imagery of fearlessness and focus, and a color scheme that resembles a sunset, which sets a tone of thankfulness for a good Kobe day that had passed.

A New Day Dawning (at EDSA-Kalayaan)

ARAL Cru relocated to Makati City to paint the second mural a few hours later. Symbolizing the sunrise and the beginning of a new day, this mural uses the same colors as the first but moving towards the opposite direction. 

The mural depicts Kobe wearing his two iconic jersey numbers, 8 and 24, shooting crumpled pieces of paper into a trash bin. An optimistic way of showing the moment when we are reminded to be a little better each time the sun rises, just like Kobe. Throughout his career he evolved both as a person and as an athlete, he was always the one you could reliably turn to when the game is on the line. 

Behind the Art (About ARAL Cru)

ARAL Cru consists of Bvdot, Cinos, and Frank, a three-man graffiti crew from the Greater Manila Area. Through street painting and gallery work across the Philippines, they are today recognized as one the most respected young talents in the street art movement in the country. Hard work, quality of execution, the ability to work under pressure, and of course, love for the game — this is how the ARAL Cru artists truly embody Mamba Mentality in their own lives.

Kayo Cosio of #HoneycombArts organized and curated this project. #HoneycombArts is an organization that connects culture and messaging through a variety of public art mediums. They have also curated and executed over 60 public art projects in Manila and abroad.

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