Former New York Knicks power forward and six-time NBA all-star Amar’e Stoudemire is now bringing his swagger to the world of art. An up and coming art and fashion connoisseur, Stoudemire is making a name for himself as a legitimate art collector.
Sports fans and artists are surprised that an successful athlete could also become a known art collector and advisor. “I would never expect such a great athlete to have an artistic side,” freshman Andy Ram said. Despite shock from fans and followers, Stoudemire is indeed an athlete who has an eye for art, fashioning his own home with pieces along with helping others build collections.
At the start of his basketball career, Stoudemire was the first player to win rookie-of-the-year having been drafted into the NBA directly from high school.
Almost half a year since his retirement, Stoudemire is now taking a passion for art to inspire other athletes. “We’re going to educate the rest of the sports world how important it is to collect art,” Stoudemire said in an interview for Bloomberg Pursuits.
When one thinks of pro sports and art, a monumental overlap doesn’t normally stand out. But Stoudemire believes that with his connections in the professional world of sports as well as in the world of art, he can connect the two industries to help both.
One of the most prevalent problems for artists is money. They need more money to survive and to continue making more art. In addition to being culturally connected, professional athletes need to make a name for themselves. By acting as a liaison between artists and athletes, Stoudemire will help artists get money from athletes, and help athletes grow their art collection and make a name for themselves.
Growing up, Stoudemire was not shown the importance of art. According to the New York Times, he grew up in a difficult house in a city in central Florida. After his father died from a heart attack when Stoudemire was 12 and his mother imprisoned for problems with addiction, Stoudemire relied on his older brother Hazell during his childhood and stayed close with him until Hazell died in a tragic car accident in 2012. With a childhood filled with trauma and tragedy, it was hard for Stoudemire to ignite a passion for art. “We couldn’t afford any pieces of art,” Stoudemire said to the New York Times.
But after a $99.7 million deal with the Knicks in 2010, Stoudemire became involved in the world of arts and started his own collection.
Today, Stoudemire has fashioned his home with pieces from several renowned artists including Andy Warhol and Rob Pruitt.
Stoudemire has also tied in his love for art with his unique heritage and culture. “I’m not technically Jewish,” Stoudemire said to Sun Sentinel. “It just happened.” Being one of few Jews in the NBA and having had a Jewish wedding in 2012, Stoudemire takes pride in his culture. Now playing basketball in Jerusalem, Stoudemire plans to deepen this pride by becoming an Israeli citizen after living in Israel for the required period of time. More so, he has named his art collection the ‘Melech’ collection, melech meaning ‘king’ in Hebrew. It’s not common to see an NBA all-star who is an African American Jew connect his art collection to his religion. “It’s very cool how he connects his art to his Judaism, which is another unique thing about him,” junior Zack Lechner said.
Pictures of religious artifacts and Judaic symbols can be found on Stoudemire’s art-abundant Instagram page.
According to the New York Times, Stoudemire, in addition to his art, plans to try film making and sports broadcasting. A man with various passions and a deep heritage and cultural side, Stoudemire has a crowd following him on each of his journeys.