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It turns out that Steve Martin is really into Aboriginal art

Steve Martin is a man of many talents. He’s a gifted actor, a wonderful comedian, a big banjo enthusiast, and, it seems, a massive collector of… aboriginal art.

Yep, when the Planes, Trains and Automobiles star isn’t treading the boards or twanging out a few bluegrass numbers, he’s adding to his ever-growing art collection.

A noted collector — Martin owns work by the likes of David Hockney, Lucien Freud, and Edward Hopper amongst others — with an evident love of all things art-related, an interview with The Independent sees the comedic megastar opening up about his passion for Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri, a relatively unknown Aboriginal artist who hails from Australia.

Having hot-footed it to Tjapaltjarri’s first solo show in New York, back in 2014, Martin was hooked. Since then he’s begun collecting as much Aboriginal work as he can get his hands on.

The result — after a presumably luxurious lunch in a presumably luxurious restaurant with A-list gallerist and art dealer extraordinaire Larry Gagosian — is a Martin-curated show at the Gagosian’s Madison Avenue outpost, Desert Painters of Australia.

Speaking to journalist Sebastian Smee, Martin says he hopes the show — which runs in NYC until late July — will lead to more recognition of art produced by Aboriginal practitioners, ideally infiltrating the world’s leading art museums.

The Independent reports Martin as saying: “I’m sort of in favour of a small room in a great institution, because it’s so impactful in these small spaces. Without trying to tell the history, without being didactic, you can just go: ‘Pictures – look!’”

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