Harlem Globetrotter guard Maxwell Pearce has officially tossed his hat into the artist ring after debuting his first official exhibit at Art Basel/Miami Art Week 2022.
Pearce was inside N’Namdi Contemporary Fine Art over the weekend displaying his first exhibit, “The Art of an Athlete,” The Black Wall Street Times reported. The exhibit highlighted Black athletes’ ability to shape their own narratives beyond their careers in sports.
The exhibit collected fine art, mixed media, and athletic material highlighting sports figures who have used their platforms to fight for social justice throughout history.
“My work explores the multitudes of ideas within Black athleticism and celebrates athletes’ individual ability to do more than dribble, shoot, and score. It honors the literal ties that connect athletes across generations and binds them to public, collective memory,” Pearce said.
The exhibit was crafted in response to Pearce’s racist 2020 encounter with reporters in Alabama who threw fruit, including a banana, at him during an interview. Pearce posted a video testimonial in August 2020 about the incident in hopes of “educating and inspiring people to speak up when it’s necessary to right a wrong.”
“Without understanding other cultures, we cannot truly create change,” he shared in the video’s caption.
Pearce’s Art Basel exhibit included a piece entitled “More than an Athlete” that showed neon sign versions of LeBron James lit up over the top of a gold basketball hoop. Images of James showed the NBA champion wearing shirts reading “I CAN’T BREATHE,” “BLACK LIVES MATTER,” and “MORE THAN AN ATHLETE.”
Other pieces included “42,” “Sports and Politics Don’t Mix,” and “Wilma,” which paid homage to legendary Black athletes and civil rights activists like Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali, Colin Kaepernick, and Wilma Rudolph.
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