Amar’e Stoudemire - A Creative Mind.
-Courtesy of Surface Magazine
Amar’e Stoudemire, the long time NBA all-star, has been on camera in front of the media rocking new and cutting edge outfits for years. But his artistic inclinations run deeper than fashion. Publicly since 2015, he has been on record as an established art collector. And in 2015 he made his first venture into Art Basel down in Miami!
Amar’e Stoudemire started his art collection around 2009. His love and passion for art really started with fashion. As he immersed himself in fashion over the years, his eyes found the same passion for art and painting the way he did in his fashion. He found a correlation in the way fashion allows the fabric of the clothing to speak on behalf of one’s creative outlet, the same way a painting reflects an artist’s ambitions and view of the world around them. He turned to his trusted friend Swizz Beatz when he wanted to learn more about purchasing art, and how the art market and gallery system worked. After educating himself through art history, he went into purchasing paintings to furnish his home and as part of his permanent personal collection. In his autobiographical piece in Surface Magazine, he talks about how he established his collection called “The Melech Collection”. Melech (meaning King in Hebrew) signifies the joining of two regal worlds of both art and basketball, something he has has the pleasure of working to combine into one. Not only has this collection been about allocating a distinguished collection of work, it has also been about a teaching opportunity, Amar’e notes.
“Through Melech, I’m planning to start buying art on more of a consistent basis, and collaborating with young artists whose careers I can inspire. My goal is to be a game-changer in the art world and enhance young artists, to get them to the proper platform.”
How does he choose the artists he commissions?
“What I tend to do is become friends with the actual artist. We sit and have a conversation about their passion—what got them involved in art, what are their future plans and goals, ideas on their next pieces they’re going to paint. And once you become friends, then we can go from there.”
“It’s a simple conversation. It’s a creative conversation. We just chat about my passion and things that I love, and then he uses his intelligent mind. And we discuss the actual painting and then he creates that painting for me.”
Art has always been a part of life for Amar’e. There is an art to playing basketball in the footwork and body movement that comes with being out on the court. Since he’d invested in basketball since a young age, he has had years to reflect upon the correlation between basketball and painting, specifically, as being the medium that especially spoke to him. An artist and close friend of Amare’s, Tonia Calderon created a Tupac inspired painting for his birthday where she overlayed lyrics of his song over a portrait of Tupac painted in black and gold. After that he fell in love with art. As Tania elaborated, she started noticing Amare’s time attributed more towards studying art, connecting with it, and embracing the artists themselves in the art community that made those works. His most sought after painting in his collection is the Basquiat painting in his home, because of the prejudiced times Basquiat was working and living in. The street art motif he brought to the canvas and context and circumstances of Basquiat's life amplified and resonated even stronger within Amare.
-Courtesy of The NBPA
In his time down in Miami for Art Basel, he joined a panel discussion for Surface Magazine at the W South Beach Hotel, discussing his passion and endeavors in the art world now and for the future. But it didn’t stop there, he then went to SCOPE gallery, down in Miami, to see the latest and best in contemporary art across the world. Retna, Patrick Pettersson, and JoJo, just to name a few, are some of the young artists really carving their space in the art community that Amare has had the pleasure of commissioning, and more importantly, building friendships with.
Amar’e is now focusing his time on an experimental art series called “In The Paint”.
The title is a play on words referencing both the painting itself in conjunction with basketball. The program is intended to expose the underprivileged youth to both arts and basketball together. Amar’e spoke with UPROXX about growing up in a bad neighbourhood and having to acquire a certain education just to stay out of trouble. By being smart and staying both focused and disciplined, was the only way to make it out he says. Amare did that and wanted the program to allow him to share that knowledge to educate those kids. Because he loved art, having the kids see him doing what he loved, inspired them to both come together in their community, and create art installations and paint with young upcoming experts in the art world as well; Something Stoudemire wants to expand throughout different cities across the country.
-Courtesy Loamis, World Red Eye (Amarestoudemire.com)
“I’ve seen and heard so many slogans about art—that art is love. And truly it is. There’s no other agenda with art besides really loving to do it and loving what art gives you. It’s truly an amazing thing that anyone can become a collector or become an artist and truly love doing it, and everyone around you can fall in love with your painting. So as we see these slogans around that art is love, I truly believe that.”
Courtesy of Surface Magazine, The NBPA, Amarestoudemire.com, and UPROXX