Former New York Giants defensive end and Good Morning America host Michael Strahan.
Photo: Mark Seliger

Michael Strahan Shares the Story Behind His Prized Basquiat

The Good Morning America cohost tells Galerie about why he loves the work

I’ve always loved art, and over time, I’ve learned to really appreciate it. Every time you look at one of Basquiat’s works, you see so many different things. In Hollywood Africans in Front of the Chinese Theater with Footprints of Movie Stars, I see some of him in it, obviously. And when I saw the word teeth, I thought, Okay, what am I most known for? So it had that connection. Here I am as an African American navigating Hollywood, which is an industry I never even imagined could be in my future plans when I was playing football. This painting spoke to me in a personal way and in terms of my career.

Dina Brown of Gallery Brown in Los Angeles is who I run things by—she’s been a great guide, helping me understand all the intricacies that go along with purchasing art. But I only buy works that I really love. This Basquiat I saw and thought, I could look at this every day and find something different and be happy to see it. It’s in my family room, right off the kitchen, and I knew it was going to enhance my life from the moment I saw it.—As told to Jill Sieracki

Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Hollywood Africans in Front of the Chinese Theater with Footprints of Movie Stars is in Michael Strahan’s collection. Photo: Courtesy of Pace Prints

A version of this article first appeared in print in our 2019 Spring Issue under the headline In Focus. Subscribe to the magazine.

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