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From Court to Canvas, Desmond Mason’s Careers Have Remained In (The) Paint

From Court to Canvas, Desmond Mason’s Careers Have Remained In (The) Paint

By Stacey Gualandi

Watching Desmond Mason work a jam-packed art gallery is the same as watching the former NBA star finesse his way down the court for one of his signature “ slam dunks.” He keeps his eye on the crowd, tries a zone defense with a critic, gets an assist from a potential investor, lays up…and then, boom! Sold. Nothing but net. The only difference here is hoop fans are now art enthusiasts, and the two-pointers are his one-of-a-kind art pieces.

As a forward with a 7-foot wingspan for the Seattle SuperSonics, and later with the Milwaukee Bucks, Mason spent the better part of 10 years shooting “ in the paint.” Now, he puts paint to canvas, with his personal take on abstract expressionism. His latest collection was on full display recently for an at-capacity crowd inside the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip, proceeds from the event benefitting two charities: Kickin’ Childhood Hunger and The Public Education Foundation.

“ I’m excited, honored, blessed and humbled,” says Mason. “ I’ve been here 2 years, and every time, my goals are to make it better, and to have a bigger show. We do it for all the right reasons.”

Not one to warm the retirement bench, Mason opted to continue his lifelong passion for painting in 2010. It was a passion that saved him from drugs and violence as a young boy growing up in Texas. While at Oklahoma State University, he maintained a “ traveling studio” of artwork to showcase. And just after his rookie year in the NBA, he had his first show.

“ I knew that I would paint forever: whether it was for monetary value, or charitable purposes, it was always going to be a part of my life,” admits Mason.

The father of two took a shot and it’s paying off. Mason has sold many of his original works to high-profile art collectors (ahem…George Clooney!) and he continues to evolve as an artist.

DLXVRSN Magazine caught up with the “ dunking savant” -turned- visual artist in Las Vegas to talk overcoming childhood tragedy, giving back and selling his very first painting.

His motto has and always will be: “ You evolve or you dissolve. The world continues to move on and you have to find a way to keep up. For me, I just want to be known as an artist.” It looks like Mason has scored another slam-dunk. […] Continue reading on Page 42-43


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