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Greenwich Exhibit Is Slam Dunk for Knick's Nephew

GREENWICH, Conn. – Asa Jackson was truly at center court as he opened his debut art show. His aunt and uncle, legendary New York Knick player and assistant general manager Allan Houston and wife Tamara, both of Greenwich, introduced him at the Samuel Owen Gallery in Greenwich on Thursday night.

“I’m just so proud of him. I’ve seen his work for years, and it’s so layered and rich and soulful,” said Tamara. “We live here, and when I saw this gallery pop up about a year ago, we walked in and asked how an artist could get a show here. He’s so talented, and we thought he needed to show it.”

Jackson said his inspiration comes from different subjects he researches. He pointed out one of his paintings, titled “The Elemental Man,” at the front of the packed gallery. “As I was working on it, I wasn’t really sure what I was going for. But then it began to remind me of fire and air and water, and everything. … Suddenly it became something greater,” he said.

Jackson’s paintings are vibrant and colorful, and they portray mostly faces. Another painting depicts a half-man, half-donkey who is holding up a mirror and gazing at his reflection. “Again, I didn’t know where I was going when I started this, but then it make sense. … It’s a pun – ‘Vanity can make you look like an ass.’”

Jackson cites influences from the street artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, abstract expressionist Jackson Pollock and his own family. “My grandfather was an artist, and my mother did some painting when I was growing up.”

More than 40 of Jackson’s oil, acrylic, and oil pastel paintings will be on exhibition at the Greenwich Avenue gallery through March 23. Beginning March 16, Jackson’s work will share the space with art by musician-artist Moby.  “It feels amazing, it’s like a dream come true,” said Jackson.

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