Scott Friedman is an art collector & private jeweler based in New York.
How did you become interested in contemporary art?
I was always intrigued by fine art. I remember my grandmother showing me artist books as a kid. I would look through them for hours, studying everything from Picasso to Warhol. I may have not understood what I was looking at, but I knew I enjoyed it. Now in my adult years, I’ve come to appreciate that special time as it shaped my interest in collecting contemporary art today.
What do you read and pay attention to in order to stay current in the art world? Who are your art world influences?
I start my day with a quick read through of the Observer, Artnet and Artsy news. I find that these publications keep me informed on what is going on in the art world on a daily basis. I enjoy studying art market trends and paying very close attention to the auctions. I find that this keeps me ahead of the curve when it comes to collecting. I find the most influence comes from other collectors who give me feedback on my collecting decisions. Also, I’ve been fortunate to work with great art advisors and gallerists who have provided me with insight and guidance in order to build a meaningful collection.
How did you begin collecting art? Is there anything you would change about the current art market?
I would call myself a ‘born collector’ in that I have a gene which finds passion in acquiring objects. From a very young age I’ve had collections which included coins, old keys, matchbox cars and vintage Absolut Vodka ads. I see how my love of building collections has evolved into my focus of collecting contemporary art today. I find the current art market as exciting as ever. With record breaking sales, young artist’s secondary markets soaring and museums expanding, there is no shortage of excitement. If I could change one thing, it would be to have things slow down a bit. The art world seems like it is speeding 100 mph. As a young collector it kind of makes your head spin.
When you discover an artist you want to collect how do you make contact with them?
I find the best way to gain access to the artists I want to collect is to go through their galleries or representatives. This helps both the artist establish themselves and also supports the gallery. As a collector you should build relationships for the long run. I believe in the artists who I collect and want them to have long lasting careers, which in today’s market is attainable by being part of a strong gallery program.
Does your collection have a particular theme or interest?
My eye tends to move toward processed based painting. My collection features young emerging artists who employ a lot of texture in their practice. I am trying to tell a story with my collection, so at the moment I am focusing on themes of love, excess and nostalgia. An art collection is very personal and should reflect the collector as much as the time they live in.
How do you use social media as an art consumer? What does Instagram expose about the art market?
I find that social media is a great tool for discovering new art and also gauging how certain artists are gaining momentum within the art world. I look to see who is posting about whom and what gallery shows are most posted about. Instagram is one of my favorite networks. I keep busy maintaining both my personal profile @sfriedz and my art profile@rare_concept where I like to share my art world experiences.