While many may recognize the Waxahachie, Texas native Desmond Mason from his years on the court as both a college and pro basketball player, his mark in the creative world is just as noteworthy.
Since a young age, art has played an important role in Desmond Mason’s life. He first dove into the world of art at age 11, starting in ceramics, then moving on to hyper realism and eventually abstract expressionism. Today, his medium of choice is mixed media. “I love creating depth, texture and movement,” he says, describing his creative style as colorful, energized and textured.
While he studied art in college at Oklahoma State University, his concurrent career in basketball lent a helping hand to his artistic inspiration. “My on-the-court successes, frustrations, athletic creativity, desires and work ethic have inspired my work in some way or another for as long as I can remember,” he says. That inspiration has led to many off-court accomplishments that are downright impressive. His very first piece was sold to the late David Stern, Commissioner of the NBA and he touts continued exhibits at Miami Art Basel, has been featured in the New York Post during New York Fashion Week and successfully toured Asia with his artwork. He cites his first solo show in Cabo San Lucas as being another favorite accomplishment but says “every sale, show or article is significant to me.”
Frequent visitors and locals of Cabo will recognize Desmond’s work as the large orange crown on the outside of Hotel El Ganzo. The property, which is located in Puerto Los Cabos, was the vision of his good friend Pablo Sanchez-Navarro who approached Desmond with the idea of the hotel as a blank canvas used for creative space. “He gave me the biggest suite in the hotel and said he would name it the Desmond Mason Suite,” he says. “It was such a great experience to have that kind of freedom to express myself with no handcuffs.” After leaving his mark in the new suite as El Ganzo’s first artist-in-residence, Hurricane Odile hit, causing devastation all over Los Cabos. The suite was destroyed as was much of the rest of the hotel. After repairs, Desmond headed back to El Ganzo to recreate new works, this time adding the signature orange crown on the front. “It’s a statement to every boat that enters and leaves the marina,” he says.
Today in Cabo, Desmond is in the process of establishing a studio work space with the future vision of partnering with a retail art gallery. Having had a home in Cabo for more than 12 years, the sunny destination was a logical choice for his art. “I draw inspiration every time I visit and the new architecture and direction is more contemporary,” he says. “Cabo is more globalized from the standpoint of visibility and tourism. That leans to my style and my vibe.”
Aside from his art studio in Oklahoma City, Desmond is working to globalize his brand and grow partnerships in all areas his art is being utilized, from apparel and graphics to even beverages. He recently partnered with Phat Scooter and 47 Brand designing apparel and many more.