In the middle of my latest attempt to bring my office back from chaos into order, I actually began looking at all the stuff I’ve collected. Out-of-print books, a couple of original paintings from an artist I consulted for, framed posters, a neon sign I’d been given by a friend that spells ZACH’S (the name I planned to use whenever I fantasized about opening a bar), and many deco pieces along with a fine gathering of Bakelite radios. Nice things, mostly hunted and gathered years ago.

Now I collect art. Sue collects art, but in a very different way. She looks for paintings, small sculptures, and photographs created by as-yet-unknown artists. Sue, like me, has gone through different collecting obsessions but for the most part has stuck with her holy trinity. For quite a while she also had her “junking” friends keep an eye out for different body part sculptures but that’s seem to have (no pun intended—right) petered out.

I’m different. I want the masters. I want what museums have. And I get ’em. I bring a notepad and pen whenever we visit an exhibit or gallery to write down artists’ names that I like, then return home and turn on my computer The Google is my personal art repository.

Then I collect. Some connoisseurs specialize and curate, I am eclectic with enough resources (hard drive memory) to indulge my fancies. My private gallery: my desktop image.







Sometimes I need a calming influence so I might choose one of my Rothko’s.


If I’m feeling playful I spend some time with Pop Art:










Sometime I enjoy a dose of sophisticated irony and turn to Christian Schad:











or jump to one of my go-tos, Max Beckmann,










and of course, Otto Dix.










For politics my Mexican muralists often fill the bill: Diego Rivera, Jose Clemente Orozco, and my favorite David Alfaro Siqueiros.











Many moods, many great pictures. But in truth, for me the rubber meets the road with Photorealism. Yes I enjoy Picasso and Modern, the great masters, street art, and pretty much any school that speaks to me. But give me Audrey Flack,










Ralph Goings,











and especially Richard Estes.








I guess I’m wedded to reality and it shows.


Okay, I can’t actually afford to buy anything by these artists, but I don’t have to. My laptop has the world’s greatest art collection and it’s free!

(Did I mention my naked celebrity folder?)

Every act of perception, is to some degree an act of creation, and every act of memory is to some degree an act of imagination. ~ Oliver Sacks

8 thoughts on “GETTY’S GOT NOTHING ON ME

  1. Zach,
    I started collecting art when I found a genuine Robert LeBron oil painting in a thrift shop for $26. Lebron is dead now, but his stuff hangs in the homes of many Hollywood celebrities(Ron Howard, Carol Burnett) who, I’m sure, paid a lot more than I did! A few years ago I found a Linda Pochesci oil painting at an estate sale. Price: $100. If you buy something similar, by Linda (she’s a realist in the style of Edward Hopper), at a gallery: $3000-4000. I have a friend that found an Early American oil painting at a Goodwill store around 20 years ago. He sold it at auction for over $50,000. He is now an art dealer. Collecting art is fun, but unless you have scads o $$$, you have to search with a keen eye and a lot of patience, plus, you must go to a lot of yard sales and thrift shops. I’m still looking for a Picasso…

    • Les–if you find one send me a picture. Like I wrote, haven’t been “out there” collecting for a while. Depending upon whether I get asked to write another book, I may start getting back into it. Hope all is well on the left coast!

  2. That was a refreshing surprise read, Zach. I’ll send you the name of a painter I recently ‘friended’ on FB whose work is just amazing. I’ve been really looking there for many artists lately especially from Japan. With all the horror happening in the world I often reflect on how fortunate I am to have the luxury of being able to notice art, let alone create it.

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