Tributes to Kobe Bryant have been flowing ever since the LA Lakers legend tragically lost his life in a helicopter crash last Sunday, but one in particular managed to catch a lot of attention because it was only visible from high up in the sky.
Kelli Pearson and her husband, Pete Davis, run New Ground Technology, a company that specializes in creating high-definition imagery on living grass, and they recently showcased their services with a beautiful portrait of late basketball star Kobe Bryant. The 115-foot tall and 92-foot wide mural of Bryant was executed the company’s patented Turfprinter technology in a grass field at a park in Pleasanton.
“The face was from two different photos, the neck was from a different photo and the body was from a different photo. It ends up creating an artwork piece,” Pearson told CNN. “I tried to capture him, the likeness of him smiling and as an athlete.”
The image of Kobe Bryant was then loaded into a lawn mower-type machine that uses GPS coordinates to move around the “canvas”, blowing air to gently bend the grass blades away or toward you to make up the dark and light contrast. The technology uses no paint and doesn’t cut the grass.
Because the grass is only bent to create the image, this beautiful tribute to Kobe Bryant will only last a couple of days, but Kelli and Pete hope that it will have a lasting impact on their community.
“For me, it’s a community effort,” Davis said. “You feel helpless and there’s really nothing more you can do in the situation. But in our space, I did it to represent our community and let the community be a part of this closure.”