Artist Victor Solomon recently got his inspiration for creativity through the art of basketball. Solomon explores the "icons and totems" of the sport through his ongoing project titled Literally Balling. In his recent project, he added opulence to the courts in one of the most unexpected ways.
His latest project was inspired by a Japanese technique called Kintsugi. Basically, Solomon repaired a crumbling basketball court by placing gold in its cracks.
Dating back to the 15th century, Kintsugi has a long history in Japanese culture – although it's most commonly used to rejoin broken pottery. The aim of this technique is to celebrate the unique history of an object. It showcases its imperfections rather than concealing the cracks.
By adding gold in the imperfect spots, the repaired item is revitalized and more beautiful than its original form. Kintsugi Court employs the kintsugi approach on a large scale.
In keeping with the spirit of the technique,
Solomon sees his additions as a mending of the court, both literally and figuratively.
"We celebrate the sport of basketball as a universally accessible, class-agnostic, race-indifferent platform, and its ability to bring people together to heal in this important moment. My team and I renovated a dilapidated court in South Los Angeles, filling its cracks with gold-dusted resin inspired by the historic process."
Solomon started his project to repair the court in the most unique way to celebrate the return of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The league was halted on March 11, 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Kintsugi Court was completed shortly after the season resumed on July 30.
With his project, Solomon noted the importance that it has in our lives. He added, "It's the sport's official return this weekend after a heartbreaking beginning to 2020. The Kintsugi Court's medium and message celebrate the solidarity basketball provides to unify against the backdrop of a polarized and divided zeitgeist."