A wall-sized illustration of NBA star Amar’e Stoudemire is the latest addition to an ongoing art project where portraits of contemporary and historical figures are painted on the metal shutters of Jerusalem’s central market.
“The Shuk has legends painted all over. I’m humble to be amongst the greats here,” Stoudemire wrote on Instagram, captioning an image of himself standing in front of his portrait with the artist behind the project, Solomon Souza. “Blessed.”
Souza, a prolific graffiti artist based in Israel has painted dozens of portraitsin the Mahane Yehuda Market over the last year. The makeshift gallery has turned into an after-hours attraction of sorts. Other portraits include Moses, Abraham Joshua Heschel and Albert Einstein.
Stoudemire moved to Israel last year to play for Hapoel Jerusalem, the professional Israeli basketball club which he partially owns. His relocation to Israel was not only a professional move—Stoudemire also identifies as a Hebrew Israelite and views the land of Israel as part of his spiritual and ancestral heritage.
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Sam Kestenbaum is a contributing editor and former staff writer for the Forward. Before this, he worked for The New York Times and newsrooms in Sana, Ramallah and Beijing. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter at @skestenbaum and on Instagram at @skestenbaum.
NBA Star Amar’e Stoudemire Portrait Up In Jerusalem