BTS: NBA x Bleacher Report NBA 75 Artist Series


NEW YORK – An empty retail space in the heart of SoHo was transformed almost overnight into an NBA mecca with paintings and jewelry, quilts and embroidery – all to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the NBA.

To celebrate 75 years of the NBA, Bleacher Report commissioned a selection of talented and diverse artists from various disciplines to create original works of art inspired by the league. Each of the five artists created original works as well as a set of artist’s editions (each limited to 75) and clothing inspired by their works.

NBA x B / R 75 Art Collection

Visual artist Sue Tsai curated the collection. Her work is a cross between art, fashion and pop culture known to bring a bold but feminine aesthetic to the world of basketball. She creates collectible multimedia art through her pop-surrealist style.

“I really wanted to find a diverse group of artists who would present not only different mediums but different perspectives on basketball,” Tsai said. “It was important to bring in artists who had their own personal connections to NBA history so that this was authentically reflected in the art.”

Other artists include:

  • Frank Miller: one of the most influential and awarded creators in entertainment today. Miller is known for his intense, harsh storytelling and grainy black aesthetic across comics, novels, and movies, including Daredevil, Batman: Return of the Dark Knight, Sin City and 300.
  • Hank willis thomas: a widely exhibited conceptual artist working primarily with themes related to perspective, identity, merchandise, media and popular culture. He is known for creating overlaps of sports, history and contemporary art through his tapestries made of sports shirts.
  • Greg Yuna: a leading luxury jeweler and New York City fixture, which is based in the Diamond District of Manhattan and counts some of the biggest celebrities in sports, music and film among its clientele. Yuna’s unique creativity and aesthetics guide the design of the Greg Yuna brand’s contemporary collections of precious jewelry, clothing, accessories and works of art.
  • Bandoulou: a brand founded by artist Pat Peltier, known for turning vintage clothing into unique and unique garments through custom embroidery, including hand-sewn paint splashes – a mark of his style.

Each artist has a unique connection to basketball which has helped influence their work for this collection.

“Basketball has always been a gateway for artistic expression and mental fitness for me, from a young age,” said Peltier. “Having been inspired by the culture of sports my entire life playing college basketball at Mass Art in Boston, I have continually drawn benchmarks and parallels on how art and basketball ball intertwine in Bandulu. “

Giclee prints, numbered and hand signed, edition of 75 for Lakers by Frank Miller

“I’ve been a basketball fan since I was a teenager,” Miller said. “Watch the Lakers play the Celtics was like watching superheroes in action. These guys are too good-looking to be true. Corn they are real.

For the original works, Tsai created four paintings celebrating the bulls, Knicks, Lakers and Nets. Each commemorated the history of the city as their favorite Knicks logo painting, surrounded by colorful growth inspired by Madison Square Garden in a city of concrete.

“Inspired by the ‘concrete jungle’, I transformed the iconic Knicks high school basketball logo into my signature flower bomb. The Rafflesia jungle flower bomb represents the power and explosiveness of the game while paying a small tribute to the 88-89 Knicks

Knicks painting by Sue Tsai

“Bomb Squad,” Tsai said. “At the root is a stem mimicking a New York road sign, and leaves grow at the intersection of 7th Avenue and 33rd Street in Madison Square Garden. A NY concrete block shows the strength of the city as wall stickers pay homage to 75 years of the NBA. A young fan waters the Knicks flower, helping it to flourish and reminds us that growth has no off-season.

works of other artists:

The editions of each artist:

  • Miller: Inkjet prints, numbered and signed by hand, edition of 75 for each of the Celtics, Lakers, Raptors.
  • Willis thomas: 50 ″ x 70 ″ printed duvet cover, edition of 75.
  • Tsai: Inkjet prints, numbered and hand signed, edition of 75 for each of the Bulls, Knicks, Lakers.
  • Yuna: Archive pigment print on aluminum, edition of 75 with signed certificate of Authenticity for the Lakers.
  • Bandoulou: Embroidered patch, edition of 75.

Tsai said what she liked most about working with the other artists was how incredibly different everyone’s individual perspective on the NBA was and how that was reflected in what they created.

A large-scale quilted NBA logo by Hank Willis Thomas

“Hank Willis Thomas is such a culturally important concept artist and his 1 in 1 quilt goes far beyond simply making player jerseys to create the NBA logo. Frank Miller, who is an iconic comic book artist, considers the players to be superheroes and was thus able to render the team logos. Viewing the NBA teams and their history through the eyes of all these different artists from diverse backgrounds really shows us how the league has transcended beyond mere play, ”Tsai said.

Additionally, all of the artist’s works are available as clothing, which is a capsule collection of casual wear, including long and short sleeve t-shirts, hoodies and crewnecks, embroidered jackets and a pair of sweatpants.

Buy the collection here.


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