Source: ARTSY EDITORIAL
BY MOLLY GOTTSCHALK
“If you see a painting out there and you wanna call me, I can give you the 411,” six-time NBA All-Star Amar’e Stoudemire tells me from his Miami mansion, a 14,555-square-foot home filled with run-of-the-mill baller pad fare—a movie theater, a nine-car garage, a game room complete with a wet bar—oh, and a budding art collection.
Stoudemire bought the house in 2011 for a cool $3.7 million following a mega-deal with the New York Knicks, and the following year began to fill it with art. His Instagram account, with some 366,000 followers, is dotted with ’grams of new acquisitions—paintings by up-and-coming artists Devin Troy Strother and Hebru Brantley, a print by Basquiat—and, well, one where he’s taking a bath in red wine post-practice. (His favorite soak? Matarromera Crianza. Don’t worry, he drinks a glass after.)
Currently in his 13th year in the NBA, on a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Miami Heat, Stoudemire has added curator, art collector, and adviser to his list of many well-styled hats donned. Since his 2003 NBA Rookie of the Year award—he was the first-ever high schooler to receive it—he’s played ball for the Phoenix Suns, the Knicks, the Dallas Mavericks, and the Miami Heat; teamed up with designer Rachel Roy on a sporty women’s fashion line; authored a Scholastic paperback series for middle-schoolers; made a cameo on Law & Order; and played himself as an anxious patient pre-knee surgery in Judd Apatow’s Trainwreck.
Stoudemire’s off-court assists of the art-world sort date back to November 16th, 2007. He was ringing in his 24th birthday at a party in Phoenix, Arizona (then playing for the Suns), when a friend brought over a memorable gift that would spur years of future collecting. What to give a basketball player who has everything? A painting of himself, at a lifesize 6’11”, holding a few of his favorite things: a menorah, a Bible, and, you guessed it, a basketball. “There were a lot of symbols inside the painting that reflected my thoughts, who I am. I loved it,” says Stoudemire, who is “culturally Jewish” and sports a Star of David tattoo on his left thumb. “That was when I started to become more involved in the art world.”