Brandan Odums didn’t have to guess what passersby thought of the 10,000-square-foot mural he was painting of Brazilian soccer stud Neymar in Brickell. This is Miami. They let him know without being asked.
“There were people who were excited and screaming, ‘Go, Brazil!'” the New Orleans-based Odums says. “There were a few people who were not fans of Neymar [who] would scream out what team they were fans of. I was excited that it was getting such a response. A majority of people were excited to see it was Neymar.”
The hard-to-miss artwork on the corner of SW Eighth Street and SW First Avenue is one of three murals commissioned by the sports website Bleacher Report to coincide with the World Cup, which is set to kick off Thursday in Russia. Odums also painted murals of France’s Paul Pogba in New Orleans and Egypt’s Mohamed Salah in New York.
The 26-year-old Neymar — considered by many to be the
“The thought was that it was a corner building and there was nothing directly next to where the portrait would be,” Odums says. “I wanted him to be looking off into the distance to show that it takes a certain level of focus to play at the level that he does.”
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Neymar has a
If you plan to snap a pic of the Neymar mural — and why wouldn’t you? — post it on social media and include the hashtag #LargerThanLife. You could win a chance to attend Steve Nash’s celebrity soccer game in New York June 20, courtesy of Bleacher Report.
“I love the location because it’s in downtown Miami,” Bleacher Report senior producer Ryan O’Leary says of the Neymar mural. “It’s a huge space — 10,000 square feet. And as people come out of the mall and off the highway, it just smacks you in the face. We want people to take notice.”