Just when you thought basketball courts had nothing to offer but six foot five, hot athletes, you can think again. These basketball courts selected from across the globe just go to show, you don’t have to be an athlete to get your name on the court.
Let’s take a closer look at each one, shall we?
New York Basketball Courts by Kaws // Nike has enlisted Brooklyn-based artist Kaws to paint his signature motifs across two basketball courts in New York City. Known better for his cartoon style works and limited edition objects, this Manhattan basketball court got the special treatment from Kaws.
Part of Nike’s latest campaign, ‘New York Made’ it’s one of a series of collaborations Nike was involved in over the city.
“My approach to the courts was very similar to how I would work on canvas,” he said. “I wanted to create something that was true to my language but also considerate of this being a court that people are playing on.”
Part advertising spectacular, part artistic coolness and part athletic inspiration, this artwork takes colouring on the sidewalk to a new level.
Gue Basketball Court in Alessandria, Italy // No doubt cleverly designed to confuse the basketball players, this plethora of shapes and colours was the offspring of Sicilian artist Gue. Part of the regeneration and redevelopment of Alessandria’s Carlo Carra Park, the muralist has created a striking visual image of curved lines and shapes seemingly randomly intersecting.
“The idea was born from the possibility of being able to cross the field’s space,” Gue describes, “and to stay inside the compositionand change the perception of shapes through the game’s movement.”
Pigalle Duperré: Multi-coloured Basketball Installation in Paris by Pigalle and Ill Studio // Not often you find a basketball court that’s a collaboration between a French fashion designer and graphic design studio. Pigalle Duperré is such a court. It’s named after the fashion brand Pigalle and the street the court is situation on, Rue Duperré.
Pigalle Duperré’s facelift has been a multi-coloured, graphically commanding one. The inspiration came from a 1930’s artwork called Sportsmen by Russian artist Kasimir Malevich – a boldly coloured oil painting that depicts four figures stood side by side.
“Sportsmen is one of our favourite paintings of all time,” said the studio. “We were attracted to the subjects of the painting, but also the strong colours and graphic composition that matched the direction we had in mind.”
The panels are made of ethylene propylene diene monome (EPDM) rubber. You know the sort, the type you find in a kid’s playgrounds so when they take a stack they don’t hurt themselves. There’s a lot that’s very kid like about this multi-coloured basketball court, the colour being just one element. It’s vibrant and bold with simple geometric shapes that make the court striking, but mostly it feels… fun. Like kids like things to be. It’s the sort of joyful expression we see in their paintings. And wedged as it is between two rows of Parisian apartments, which are obviously the epitome of sophistication, it’s a little bit of cheekiness too. Not quite thumbing it at the establishment but being emboldened enough to declare you don’t care what they think anyway.
Pigalle’s Hoop Dreams // Life started tough for this Pigalle basketball court. It was a 7 year fight with the local government to get them to agree to putting in a basketball court in favour of a carpark. Then Pigalle partnered up with Nike and Ill Stuido to design the first incarnation of this community based court (see second incarnation in post above). In fact, it was the neighbours, the kids, and the crew that helped paint the vibrant purple and white colour scheme.
The court, once finished, featured as the backdrop to Pigalle’s fashion campaign.
“I find that mohair and mesh can be similar to a tough defense, fancy dribble or a classy dunk or a raw rebound. That mix of energy is everything to us; from music to fashion to sport,” said Stephane Ashpool, founder of the Pigalle label and coach to the kids who play on the court.
Which just goes to show, fashion, art, sport and architecture all feed off the same beast – passion and inspiration.
[Images courtesy of the artists.]
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