February 17, 2010
Despite playing professional basketball for the past 18 years, the Cleveland Cavaliers center has published two memoirs, recorded six records, acted in six "blockbuster" movies ("Kazaam!" "Steel!" "Freddy Got Fingered!"), starred in a reality show, been a cop, and studied for a doctorate in "human resource development." And next up? Trying his hand in the world of art curation.
That's right, the 7-foot-1 O'Neal's first art show opens this Friday, Feb. 19, at the FLAG Art Foundation in Chelsea, and it is fittingly titled "Size DOES Matter."
The exhibit runs through May 27 and features 66 works selected by Shaq. They range from Ron Mueck's "Untitled (Big Man)," a 7-foot-tall sculpture of a naked, bald man curled up awkwardly (above), to a microscopic portrait of Shaq by Willard Wigan "that's so tiny it can sit in the eye of a needle."
Linda Yablonsky of New York Magazine talked to "The Big Curator" about the show:
How did you make your choices?
Art is a process of delivering or arranging elements that appeal to the emotions of a person looking at it. It's what you feel. I picked those things because they were beautiful. The thing about size — if it's big or small you have to look at it. Because I'm so big you have to look at me. I think of myself as a monument. But sometimes I like to feel small.
Do you ever get time to visit museums?
I used to go a lot with my kids. Donald Trump is a great friend, and he has four or five Picassos on his plane. And that's where I would look at them. One time, I was at a museum and tried touching a Picasso. You break it, you buy it, they said. I was told it would cost $2 million.
Do you buy art?
I have six kids, and if they ripped something, I'd be devastated. Maybe when they grow up, I'll buy. I'd like Ron Mueck to do a sculpture of me. I would like to make it twenty feet tall and put it in the middle of a residential neighborhood-make it two stories high and in the head I'd have my office.