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Former NBAer Desmond Mason Has A Pretty Successful Art Career

You probably haven't thought about Desmond Mason since he last played in the NBA in 2009, or perhaps even before then. The New York Post has an update on his life, and as it turns out, Mason is building a pretty successful second career as an artist:

In the years since, Mason has sold his work to notables such as movie star George Clooney, sportscaster Joe Buck, nightlife honcho Rande Gerber and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz.

His colorful abstract art has been shown at Art Basel in Miami, and the married father of two just sold a painting to Chicago businessman David Gupta for $60,000.

On Thursday, his work will be on display in New York for the first time in the Athletes for Art Renaissance show in Chelsea.


Mason has loved and created art since he was a young kid, and majored in studio art while attending Oklahoma State. This led to some awkward basketball road trips, but also a way to bond with his teammates:

Already stretched by a grueling schedule, Mason opted to study studio art, which required traveling to road games with sculpting tools, a portfolio and even an easel.

"Some of my teammates who roomed with me didn't really like it. They always gave me s - - t. Either that, or they wanted me to draw them something for their dorms. They were like, 'Man, can you draw Barry Sanders?' " Mason laughs recalling the request for a picture of the football player.

Mason originally created art in the style of realism—as a rookie, David Stern paid $500 for a drawing he did of Al Pacino in "Carlito's Way"—but after seeing the film Pollock he began focusing on abstract expressionism:

"I went out and bought a roll of canvas, paint and destroyed my lawn," says Mason, who set up his easel in front of his house. "I painted for three hours and that changed me. I went from realism in black and white to massive scale abstract painting."


The rest of the profile is crammed with interesting nuggets of information—Mason is very impressed with Alex Rodriguez's art knowledge—and above you can watch a short film documenting his "creative process."

[New York Post]

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