Tuesday, May 31, 2011

POSE: Amar'e Stoudemire / Whitney Art Party / May 24, 2011

Amar'e Stoudemire attends the Whitney Art Party: The Groundbreakers at Highline Stages on May 24, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for Whitney Museum)
Forward at Center of Whitney Party
by Marsha Heyman for the Wall Street Journal./NY Culture

It was a stroke of genius, in a way, to invite Amar'e Stoudemire to be one of the hosts of the annual Whitney Museum's Art Party, mostly because his presence there will get him (and the institution) a lot of attention.

Mr. Stoudemire, a forward for the New York Knicks, shared duties with the fashion designer Eddie Borgo and Shala Monroque, the former maitre d' at Kittichai turned art consultant. (Her boyfriend is the gallerist Larry Gagosian.)

While others bid on the artwork and drank raspberry-flavored vodka cocktails, Mr. Stoudemire, wearing a shiny Calvin Klein suit, greeted a few guests at the Highline Stages in his very own VIP area, complete with luxe couches and armchairs.

As he settled into one of those couches, he explained that he isn't much of an art collector.

"I collect cars," he said. "I collect watches."

When asked, he added, nonchalantly, that he had never been to the Whitney Museum uptown—groundbreaking on a downtown location began on Tuesday morning—but enjoyed taking his kids to the Children's Museum on the Upper West Side.

He said he likes going to galleries "around the world" to look at art, "but I buy things based on how I feel about it rather than who the artist is. I don't really remember artists."

"I recently bought three pieces by the same artist," he explained, though, naturally, he couldn't recalled the artist's name. He remembered the price: about $1,000 a painting. "A good buy," he insisted.

Where did he buy them? "Actually, my chef found them. At a gallery. He took pictures of them with his phone, sent them to me, and I gave him the thumbs up."

Stoudemire arriving in fashion. Photo: Billy Farrell/BFAnyc.com

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