SNKRS

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ART OF SNKRS

ART OF SNKRS

CONVERSE CT16
The game of basketball is an art, and so are the shoes that hit the hardwood each night. Converse’s early models, designed for athletes like Bill Russell and Julius Erving, helped players make history. In celebration of this legacy and the NBA Playoffs, Nike, Converse, and Jordan are releasing the Art of a Champion collection — 16 shoes for the 16 total wins it takes to earn an NBA title.

16 artists have created original artworks to commemorate each shoe and the players who have worn them. Below, four artists explain the artworks they made for CT16 Converse footwear.
Art of SNKRS: Converse CT16 Collection

PRO LEATHER MID

THE SCOOP BY ROBERT BEATTY

Julius Erving, remembered as Dr. J, was known for his flair and style on-court, perhaps most memorably with his behind-the-rim shot (“The Scoop”) during Game 4 of the 1980 NBA Finals. Artist Robert Beatty’s illustration pays homage to Erving’s otherworldly talent with objects that defy gravity, including an ice cream scoop. “Most of my art is inspired by the time period Julius Erving played in, the ‘70s,” says Beatty. “I wanted to capture how he changed the way basketball is played and also how players are portrayed.”

Art of SNKRS: Converse CT16 Collection

CHUCK 70 LOW

30 AND 40 BY ANDREW HO

During Game 7 of the 1968 NBA finals, Bill Russell’s 30 points and 40 rebounds helped the Celtics win their fourth straight title in overtime. Andrew Ho’s illustrated homage to Russell and the Chuck 70 Low includes these stats on a television, a book representing the player’s novels, and 11 rings for his 11 NBA Championships. “The reverberations of Bill Russell’s legacy ripple through the NBA and basketball culture today,” says Ho. “I incorporated patterns to represent his heritage, a clipboard for being the only player-coach in the NBA, and an olive branch for his stated values of peace and equality.”

Art of SNKRS: Converse CT16 Collection

FASTBREAK HI

NO EASY BUCKETS BY ORLY ANAN

During the 1984 NBA finals, Kevin McHale committed a foul that caused a heated brawl between the Celtics and the Lakers. Honoring the FastBreak Hi and McHale’s relentless play, artist and set designer Orly Anan created an altar that includes a boxing ring and a clothesline. “I wanted to create a constellation of objects using imagery of a Celtic forest and symbols that represent McHale’s trajectory as a professional basketball player,” says Anan. “Visually, the shoe comes to life as a vital part of a bigger ecosystem.”

Art of SNKRS: Converse CT16 Collection

STAR PLAYER LOW

INTANGIBLES BY GILLES DE BROCK

During the 1978 NBA Finals against the Supersonics, Wes Unseld delivered two key free throws that sealed the Wizards’ first-ever NBA Championship. Gilles de Brock’s collage tribute to Unseld and the Star Player Low includes two keys, referencing those historic free throws, and a Washington, D.C. monument. “I tried to emulate the partially saturated effect of old basketball cards,” says Brock. “The composition plays with different elements so that the viewer can perceive the image in a number of ways.”