Watch: LeBron James mural artist paints over it after continued vandalism
Jonas Never, a well-known artist who created a mural in Venice, Calif., to welcome LeBron James to Los Angeles, has decided to paint over it following two cases of vandalism.
Never, along with an artist who goes by the moniker Menso, completed the mural last week in which James is depicted as “The King of L.A.”
Welcome to LA @KingJames #thekingofla … by me and my boy Menso @The7thLetter pic.twitter.com/nBTlowZH3p
— Jonas Never (@never1959) July 6, 2018
The mural, as noted, has been defaced twice, so Never elected to completely paint over it.
Lebron James' mural in Venice has been vandalized for a second time – so the artist painted white over the whole thing. Story at 5:15pm @nbcla #lakers #graffiti #art #streetart pic.twitter.com/zDnX1aAxle
— Angie Crouch (@AngieNBCLA) July 11, 2018
Video has since been posted showing Never wiping out his impressive mural with white paint and a roller.
The artist who painted the LeBron Mural in LA (@never1959) painted over it because it kept being vandalized. Smh LA pic.twitter.com/6lva7480wG
— NBA Lowdown (@NBALowdown) July 11, 2018
Interestingly, Never suspects the culprits behind the vandalism were Kobe Bryant fans who presumably took offense to bestowing the moniker “King of L.A.” upon James.
“I thought I had learned a long time ago to never touch religion or politics,” said Never, the Los Angeles-based muralist who has also designed murals of the late Anthony Bourdain and Stuart Scott among many others, via ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk.
“I guess it is never touch religion, politics or anyone against Kobe,” Never cracked.
Never says he did receive some support for the mural, but the artwork also had its fair share of detractors. In the end, Never decided to be done with the drama.
“I know when to cut my losses,” Never said. “The first vandalism was made easier to swallow because, by all accounts from the Twitter debate [over it] that we saw, it looked like a guy offered up a $300 bounty to anyone who destroyed the mural. Some guy did it and posted video of him doing it and responded to the guy and said ‘Pay me.'”
UPDATE: Footage has also surfaced of one of the acts of vandalism.
#BREAKING: This is the video of vandal defacing @KingJames mural at stroke of midnight this am in #Venice. Video from @BabyBluesBBQ surveillance cam. @Lakers @NBCLA. pic.twitter.com/gNPeUrF8fW
— Robert Kovacik (@RobertNBCLA) July 12, 2018