Artists across New York City have taken to the streets to honor Kobe Bryant in the month since his tragic death.
Brooklyn-based artist Mark Paul Deren, 39, will complete a huge portrait of the legendary basketball player with his daughter Gianna in Chinatown.
Deren — who goes by the artist name Madsteez — previously painted a Nike-commissioned mural honoring Bryant on 180 skateboard decks. The Laker legend even stopped by his former Newport Beach art studio to praise Deren’s art.
“He was a super appreciative, humble dude and he loved it,” Deren told The Post. “I mean how could you not like yourself like 20 feet tall.”
Bryant was “a big inspiration” to Deren — and the first mural helped launch his career, he said. ESPN aired a clip of the mural on Sportscenter, which led to commissions from Cam Newton.
He has since done numerous high-profile murals honoring athletes, including Carmelo Anthony, Shaquille O’Neill and a David Beckham mural for the L.A. Galaxy soccer field in Los Angeles.
Deren said that the organization East Village Walls serves as the curator for the Sun Yat Sen Intermediate School in Chinatown — where he will soon complete the new massive mural honoring Bryant.
“They curate the murals on the school and the kids voted on what they wanted on that space,” Deren said. “The kids dictated that they wanted a mural of Kobe on the wall.”
So East Village Walls reached out to Deren because they knew of his previous relationship with the athlete, he said.
The mural is based on a photograph by Atiba Jefferson — who has shot “almost the only photos of Gigi that are studio shots,” Deren said. Jefferson flew in from a job in Orlando today to assist Deren with the mural.
“People are resonating with him as an inspirational figure beyond basketball,” Deren said. “To me, it’s like I’m doing something beyond just painting wall.”
A second mural of Bryant with his daughter was also just completed in the Lower East Side by street artist Fumero Ism. It’s on display at the First Street Green Art Park courtyard.
“The mural is a metaphor for how fleeting life can be and how priceless it is,” Fumero Ism told The Post. “In the mural, I wanted to convey the love Kobe and Gigi had for each other by illustrating a simple gesture of a hug with Kobe’s right arm around Gigi, adorned with joyful facial expressions that portrays a powerful father-daughter bond between them.”
A third mural of Bryant sprung up across the street from Barclays Center in Brooklyn. That piece, by Queens artist Efren Andaluz, was based on an image taken by photographer Jon SooHoo, Time Out reported.