A finance executive in New York City, Josh devotes his spare time to his passion: visiting art fairs, studios, and galleries. He describes himself as an “art enthusiast, collector and connoisseur”. His passion led him to found the blog Art Basel and Beyond to share about his art adventures.
He is particularly fond of organizing studio visits either in person or thanks to video chat and dreams of supporting artists in their path. He confides that this experience “has opened up the entire world of art to (him).”
This time, he was the one answering the questions, and I’m very grateful for his time.
You’re an art collector and blogger. Can you share what sparked your passion for art?
Josh: For me art is about much more than simply the piece in front of you. When looking at new pieces of art, I like to think about the technique behind it and how it was created. That being said, my passion for art was really stemmed by the construction for art, rather than the art itself.
Additionally, I like to learn about the story behind the art, what life events lead the person to become an artist and to create the pieces they do. I explore these themes in my Studio Visits on my IG feed @ArtBaselAndBeyond
Collecting is a form of art. Can you tell us about your collection? What is the common link between all the works you collect?
Josh: I like to collect art that covers multiples “genres” and mediums. I have pieces that are concrete gummy bears (Olivia Bonilla) and pieces that are made of resin and cellulose that look like cascading cubes (Roderick hidalgo). You also cannot forget about digitally enhanced art. I have pieces by Amy Shekhter that take pop art to the next level with digital overlays, but I also collect other less commercial forms of art. I have a piece that is finished in a Japanese painting technique (Michael Takacs).
The common link is that they are all different and tell different stories, while showcasing different mediums. If I were forced to say what makes the pieces similar I would simply respond by saying “They are all awesome.”
What made you want to start blogging?
Josh: It was covid and I was working at Goldman Sachs. When Covid hit I moved back to NYC and my girlfriend and I (like many others) had an empty social calendar due to the pandemic. She asked me what I was going to do with my 10k plus picture archive from our art fair travels. From there ArtBaselAndBeyond on IG was established.
I decided I needed to go BEYOND the art, which is when I launched my studio visits to better explore the mission of the artist and their technique. In these visits I cover the artists background, inspiration behind their work and I am sure to spend time showcasing the artists work and studio. This usually leads into a conversation about technique, which I find fascinating.
What do you like the most about it?
Josh: I love sharing my “Studio Visits” with the world. As I mentioned, here folks learn more about what is BEYOND the art. I have been very fortunate to conduct studio visits with artists as high profile as Carole Feuerman, Gil Bruvel and even artists just starting out. I also think it is really cool to see where art is created. In fact, in one studio we saw had no drawers or cabinets. This was so that the artist could see and use any materials at their exposure. Things like this are super intriguing to me!
Additionally, I love building relationships with artists and I want my audience to be able to build those same relationships through the Art Basel and Beyond platform. Buying art is just as much about the art as it is the experience with the artist and if I can duplicate that experience through my studio visits then I have contributed positively to the art community.
How has this blogging experience impacted your view on artists, and the arts in general?
Josh: It has opened up the entire world of art to me. I have a much greater appreciation now for the sacrifices artists make to create their work and enter the art community. It is that community that is really key to me. I used to view artists as people who created art, but it so much more than that. It is about the community, the messages they are trying to convey and how they convey them. I have also learned a lot about the business of art, which is appealing to me. Through my channels I am able to help artists grow and that is very rewarding to me.
Can you share some interviews that were particularly meaningful to you?
Josh: Alex Smetsky was the very first studio visit I ever conducted. He invited me down to his studio in Brooklyn, showed me his pieces, walked me through his process and gave me a tour of his studio. His gallery, Gallery23 is one of my favorites to date. Another interview that stood out to me was with Carole Feuerman who is the most high profile artist I have interviewed. She has an incredibly large and sophisticated operation out of Brooklyn. We got a full tour of her studio and business center. She was so gracious to give us the time. You can see her studio visit pinned to my IG feed.
What is your dream project?
Josh: I would love to have the ability to facilitate the growth in artists careers. It is not about working with just high profile artists, but rather helping those starting out to become high profile.
I would also like to spend more time with those organizations that help artists. Chashama had reached out to me after seeing one of my studio visits. They are an amazing organization that has over $11M in real estate that they donate to artists to both create and showcase their work.