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5 Sportsmen Collecting Art

  • sporting, field, athletes, paintings, american gallery
July 30, 2014
Ana Bambic Kostov is an art historian with passion for contemporary art.

Now that the World Cup is over, with numerous pros and cons lingering in the air after Germany attained yet another title, it appears there are no more ways to connect art and sports. Wrong! Art and sports are interrelated constantly in so many ways, through collaborations, design, and engaged visual statements, themed exhibitions, and last, but definitely not least – collecting. Many a sportsman has been an art lover as well, and some of the top achievers on the playfield are also among the upper echelon when it comes to owning art collections. A lot of them did not have any training in art or art history, but their natural affinities draw them towards the intricacy of creative expression, where they often face in the direction of a specific genre or period. Identified as the first 5 among the many sportsmen who collect art are John McEnroe, David Beckham, Sami Allagui, Grant Hill and Fabio Capello.

  • 5 Sportsmen and Collectors, sporting, field, athletes, paintings,

John McEnroe

John McEnroe is one of the most famous tennis players in the history of US tennis, but what he is not as known for is his impressive art collection. Throughout the course of his fantastic career, he accumulated a covetable body of contemporary art, including works of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol and Ed Ruscha. One of the perks related to his collector’s persona is that he was an acquaintance of Warhol, whom he commissioned to make a portrait of himself and the misses, which the Pop Art master did in his signature Polaroid way.

  • 5 Sportsmen and Collectors, sporting, field, athletes, paintings,

David Beckham

Becks is definitely better known as model and the manly side of Posh, than for his art collection. The truth is David and Victoria Beckham commenced collecting art in 2002 and have been doing so since, thus becoming known as supporters of Young British Artists. Beckhams’ collection also includes some of the most famous names of contemporary art, such as Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, and Dinos Chapman, next to the emerging pool. Interesting fact – the Beckhams are structuring their collection inspired by the concept of, no less than – love, buying artwork and presenting it to each other on various special occasions.

  • 5 Sportsmen and Collectors

Sami Allagui

A young German football player of Tunisian descent has a strong passion for his trade, rap music and art, which he has nurtured since a very young age. Owning some intriguing photographic pieces of the great Helmut Newton from his early black and white stage, Allagui is also busy buying Markus Tollman and Jörg Immendorff, contemporary German painters.

  • 5 Sportsmen and Collectors, American

Grant Hill

Grant Hill is a former NBA player and a proud owner of one of the best collections of African American Art. Among his mini-museum there are works of Romare Bearden, Hughie Lee-Smith and Elizabeth Catlett. His love for the arts came, as it usually does, from his male parent, while he already started collecting in college. His personal selection of pieces was excellently created, and the basketballer financed the three-year touring exhibition of his own collection, across the USA, back in 2003.

  • 5 Sportsmen and Collectors

Fabio Capello

Performing as a Russian football team manager today, Fabio Capello was a football player with a thing for the art. Although the selection and assembly was something Capello did alone, he succeeded in creating a collection of estimated value in the range of 17 million dollars. Among his extraordinary treasures, there are works of Wassily Kandinsky and Marc Chagall. Being a close friend of contemporary Italian artist Piero Pizzi Cannella, Capello collects his works as well.

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