Former NFL Linebacker and Art Collector Keith Rivers Picks His Favorite Works From Artnet Galleries

Explore the former player's favorite works from our Gallery Network.

Keith Rivers. Photo by Stefan Simchowitz.

After seven seasons in the NFL playing for teams such as the Cincinnati Bengals, New York Giants, Buffalo Bills, and Dallas Cowboys, veteran linebacker Keith Rivers stepped into an entirely different field when a string of injuries forced him to retire in 2015.

That year, the now avid collector turned his focus toward art, and traded time on the football field for gallery openings and museum visits. Keith’s first foray into the art world was a visit to MoMA to see a Claes Oldenburg exhibition. Inspired by the show, he purchased his first artwork, an Andy Warhol Electric Chair.

Since then, Keith’s collection has grown to include sculptures, paintings, and video works from predominantly living artists including John Baldessari, Barbara Kruger, Kerry James Marshall, Jon Rafman, and Kara Walker.

“There is no definitive theme for my collection,” Keith explained. “I tend to look for art that can be in conversation with the other works I’ve collected throughout the years, or aspire to one day collect.” 

We caught up with Keith to hear about his bucket-list destination, his favorite moment on the football field, and some of his favorite works available now on Artnet Galleries.


Keith’s Favorite Things

Party favor: A bottle of wine. 

Restaurant: Any in Portofino, Italy.

Bucket list destination: The Sculptural Ensemble of Constantin Brâncuși at Târgu Jiu in Romania.

Work in your collection: They’re like my kids, I have no favorites.

Museum: The Barnes Foundation. 

TV show: Seinfeld.

Book you’ve read recently: The Society of the Spectacle by Guy Debord.

Podcast: Modern Art Notes.

Breakfast food: Blueberry pancakes with peanut butter.

Way to celebrate success: Go back to work for more.

Memory on the football field: Watching confetti fall. 


Top Gallery Picks

El Anatsui
Change in Fortune (2018)

Courtesy of October Gallery.


Faith Ringgold
Groovin’ High (1996)

Courtesy of RoGallery.


Sol LeWitt
Wall Drawing #415B. Double drawing. Left: Isometric figure with progressively darker gradations of gray on one of the four planes. Right: Isometric figure with a different color (gray, yellow, red, blue) on each plane (1984)

Courtesy of Paula Cooper Gallery.


Sanford Biggers
Orpheus (2020)

Courtesy of Marianne Boesky Gallery.


Louise Bourgeois
Reply to Stanley Hayter (1997)

Courtesy of Zane Bennett Contemporary Art.

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