Collecting art is something Frank Lazar really got serious about once his career started to take off about eight years ago.
“Collecting art on a shoestring budget is not an easy thing to do,” says Lazar.
Early on, the pieces he chose to own had a personal meaning. From now on, the artists he collects create pieces with a social or political interpretation. He also loves street art.
“I’ve always been drawn to art – whether it’s music, dance, theater or painting – that tries to influence change and create thoughtful discussion about things in the world,” he says. .
Lazar was a member of the Columbus Museum of Art group, The Contemporaries, which is a great way to learn about contemporary art. As a member, you can visit artists’ studios, visit collectors’ personal galleries, attend art auctions, and receive personal advice on your own collection from museum curators.
Lazar often seeks advice from Joe Houston, a former associate curator of contemporary art at the Columbus Museum of Art, who is now curator of the Hallmark art collection in Kansas City, as well as a private arts adviser. Lazar also received advice from Rebecca Ibel.
“Joe will also suggest pieces, or underrated artists, that fit into my categories of street art, pop art, and socio-political art,” says Lazar. “But I also buy what I like.”
Lazar doesn’t have many photographs in his collection, but he bought a piece by Ric Ocasek, after seeing his solo exhibition, “Noise Colored Party,” at the Mahan Gallery in 2009.
“It’s a piece that appealed to me and challenges faith,” says Lazar.
Going to galleries here and in other cities is something he enjoys, as well as the opportunity to interact with artists and talk about their interests and angles. “I would probably like to go to the CCAD Art Sale for the rest of my life,” he says.
Lazar had a piece commissioned by local artist Adam Brouillette.
“[Commissioning this piece] was one of the best things I’ve ever done,” he says. “It’s a bit autobiographical. I would sit with Adam with his sketchbook and talk about ideas and he would interpret them. It’s the first thing I see when I leave in the morning – it’s happy and fun.
“I’m always looking to add pieces to my collection,” says Lazar.
It’s rare that he makes a purchase and then needs to resell it, but it has happened.
“You have to have pieces that you like to live with,” he says.
Artists he would like to have in his collection one day include Ryan McGinness, Keith Haring, Raymond Pettibon and Banksy.
Sush Machida Gaikotsu
Emily Cable McKenna
To learn more about The Contemporaries, visit columbusmuseum.org.
Do you have an art collection you would like to share? Please contact me at [email protected]