Art collecting is something that Frank Lazar really became serious about once his career began 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. Now, the artists he collects create pieces with a social or political interpretation. He also enjoys street art.
“I’ve always been drawn to art – whether it be music, dance, theater, or painting – that tries to influence change, and create thoughtful discussion about things in the world,” he says.
Lazar has been a member of the Columbus Museum of Art’s group, The Contemporaries, which is a great way to learn more about contemporary art. As a member, you are able to visit artist studios, tour collectors’ personal galleries, attend art auctions, and receive personal advice about your own collection from the museum’s curators.
Lazar often asks for 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 art advisor. Lazar has also received advice from Rebecca Ibel.
“Joe will also suggest pieces, or undervalued artists, that fit my categories of street art, pop art, and socio-political art,” says Lazar. “But I also buy what I like.”
Lazar does not have much photography in his collection, but he did purchase a piece by Ric Ocasek, after seeing his solo show, “Noise Colored Party,” at the Mahan Gallery in 2009.
“It’s a piece I felt drawn to and one that questions faith,” says Lazar.
Going to galleries here and in other cities is something he enjoys, as well as the chance to interact with the artists and talk about their interests and angles. “I’ll probably enjoy going 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’d sit around with Adam with his sketchpad and I’d talk out the ideas and he’d interpret them. It’s the first thing I see when I leave in the morning – it’s happy and fun.”
“I’m still always looking to add pieces to my collection,” says Lazar.
It’s rare when he makes a purchase and then needs to resell it, but it has happened.
“You have to have pieces that you love to live with,” he says.
Artists he would love to one day have in his collection include Ryan McGinness, Keith Haring, Raymond Pettibon, and Banksy.
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 Anne@columbusunderground.com.