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Shaquille O’Neal, art curator?

November 18, 2009 | 11:30 am

Shaq Basketball great Shaquille O'Neal could never be accused of sticking to one thing. The 7-foot-1-inch athlete has dabbled in acting (remember "Kazaam"?), recorded a handful of rap albums and earned a master's in business administration.

Now, O'Neal is branching out yet again by taking on the art world. The Cleveland Cavaliers athlete is curating a gallery show in New York that is appropriately titled "Size DOES Matter," which explores the idea of scale in contemporary art, according to a Bloomberg report.

The show is scheduled to open in February at New York’s Flag Art Foundation, an exhibition space in the Chelsea neighborhood.

“It was a little harder than I thought it would be," O'Neal told Bloomberg. "When you think about what each of the artists put into their work, what they are expressing and want to share with the world, you feel bad about having to narrow it down.” 

"Size DOES Matter" will feature 52 works by 39 artists, including five special commissions. One of the featured pieces will be the large-scale sculpture "Big Man" by Ron Mueck, pictured above. The show will also feature work by Jeff Koons, Chuck Close and Tim Hawkinson.

One has to wonder how much "curating" O'Neal actually did for the exhibition and whether the whole thing is just a savvy publicity stunt for the Flag Art Foundation, whose main backer is collector Glenn Fuhrman, a co-managing partner of MSD Capital LP.

Perhaps just as interesting as Shaq's involvement with the exhibition is the participation of disgraced memoirist James Frey, who is writing an essay for the show's catalog. Frey, who has admitted that he fabricated parts of his bestselling memoir "A Million Little Pieces," is a collector and has written about contemporary art for various publications.

-- David Ng

Photo: "Big Man" by Ron Mueck will be part of a new exhibition curated by Shaquille O'Neal. Credit: Lee Stalsworth / via Bloomberg 

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