The affection a city has for one of its greatest heroes can still be seen splashed across numerous walls across Los Angeles. The City of Angels was gutted by the passing of Kobe Bryant and in time poured out its heart in a captivating way.
“Sincerely, Los Angeles” is a documentary set to premiere this year. Its subject is a very specific result of Bryant’s death but one that has allowed a great deal of healing throughout the city.
Murals slowly started popping up around L.A., sometimes featuring Kobe's warm smile other times his stoic gaze.
The story behind those homages to the basketball great will now be told. The artists who worked diligently to share their love will get their due recognition.
“As I took drives around town looking for toilet paper and picking up take-out, I kept seeing Kobe Murals. These images brought joy to me, reminding me of better times with friends, family, and Lakers Nation,” director Patrick Green said, via the film’s website.
It will be a year on Tuesday since the city came to a halt. Angelenos joined with the rest of the world in staring in disbelief at their phones as news began pouring in that the unthinkable had taken place.
Bryant, daughter Gianna and seven others lost their lives in a tragic helicopter crash. The subsequent days were long with memories and coping.
One way the city found to purge emotions was to literally paint the pain and joy onto so many walls across the city.
Artists such as Gabe Gault, Jonas Never, Downtown Daniel and Melany Meza-Dierks created their own bit of catharsis and will now be featured in the upcoming film.
“These larger-than-life images of Kobe’s storybook life brought some joy to me, reminding me of better times with friends, family, and Stu Lantz,” Green said in a statement. “I admired how the artists were able to channel our grief and speak for all of us by capturing Kobe’s memories that had filled our lives with so much happiness. Triumph began to overshadow tragedy.”
As we come upon the anniversary of this tragic day, many are finding ways to honor Bryant. His legacy now adorns storefronts, artists community centers, and even private homes.
A life and legacy can’t be told in full in a single frame but it can be celebrated rather beautifully on canvases that literally make up the city.
“Sincerely Los Angeles” is a love letter penned in vivid color by some of the most gifted artists around.