SHAQ'S ART PICKS
Yesterday I got attacked in Chelsea. Shaq attacked! Shaquille O'Neal, the basketball player, flew to New York to give me and a bunch of other asshole reporters an in-depth tour of the art show he curated at the Flag Gallery. All this despite his injury.
The main subject of conversation was Shaq's feelings about art. Shaq is a very soft-spoken (and huuuuuuuge) man, but he opened with a particularly dazzling rhetorical flourish: "When you look at it and you say what is that? You walk around and see it everywhere. You always walk around. Sometimes, it looks like it's moving... this is art." After allowing a pause for people to dab the tears from their eyes, he concluded, "Everything we do in life is art."
The show is called "Size Matters," and most of the pieces are correspondingly either very large or small. Or they're pictures of Shaq or other basketball players. Or they feature tits. Asked how he chose the pieces in the exhibit, Shaq said "If it gave me a twinkle to my eye, I picked it. But I mainly based my decision on stuff with a lot of size to it."
While Shaq's ultrainclusive theory on art and size-oriented approach to curating raise a lot of interesting questions with regard to postmodernism, outsider art, and the transcendence of the mundane, mostly the reporters just asked him art-related questions about basketball. Asked who the most artistic players in the NBA is, he responded, "Lebron or Kobe." Asked about the "art of his career", he responded, "I was a very fruitful and likable player--made my living off crayon art." (No clue.) Asked about what the photo of the girl with her vagina showing had to do with size, he responded, "I didn't pick this one."
At one point he also said, "This cast is art."
Since the talk had already strayed pretty far from the exhibit, I tried to ask him how he got along with all the fat kids on Shaq's Big Challenge, but this jerkoff from the NBA shanghai'd my question and then wouldn't shut up.
The last piece of the show was this giant Ron Mueck dude, which produced an awed hush in Shaq, "The Big Man... Big Man. When something is so big, it's beautiful and people must take a second look. I'm art--people recognize my face. I also love post cards of the Statue of Liberty. I can look at them and then look across the water at it and it's art."
(PS: Someone did ask about his injury, to which he said "The diagnosis is six weeks, but I'm feeling pretty good. Hopefully I'll be back sooner." Good luck Shaq! THANK YOU for the art!)