We have been collecting art for years. Not only has it been about collecting the art, we have also collected many friends. Eric Freeman was the first.
BJ Topol, who not only introduced us to Eric, but gave me a quick course about the art world was how it all began. Collecting, pricing, etc. I am a quick study and her initial help was of extreme value…and of course, she introduced us to Eric and her family.
We first met Eric at his studio on White Street in Tribeca. The night before, he had left some jars open which combusted and started a fire in the studio the night before. Luckily, nothing was destroyed and only lessons were learned. Eric’s engaging personality, beautiful big eyes, big warm smile and love of what he was doing captured me instantly. I also thought he was beyond talented on so many levels. I always find myself drawn to artists that are prolific. He was doing photography as well as painting which lead me to believe that he was curious and is always going to be trying new things. I love that.
His first show was the next week but I was given an opportunity to see his work before and buy something. I called Fred and said that he has to come down to Eric’s studio the next day because we had to buy something before his show. Every purchase is always a dual effort. Eric was a talent.
Over the years we have watched Eric grow. We bought another piece before he hit the big time and also
have another small piece too. Emily has something Eric gave her when he was experimenting with photoshop. Josh actually helped Eric with one piece when we visited his studio. He is charming…and he is also a rabid political junkie sitting just where I sit in Democratic politics. So conversation are always fun.
Last night we went to a show in the Hamptons which is at the Fireplace Project in the Springs. He has yet to show here but felt that it was important to show among his friends and colleagues where he spends the majority of his time. His work, as always, is more fantastic every time I see it. He is now making furniture too. The price of his work has soared.
Josh adores Eric and thinks his work is “the best”. He wanted to purchase a piece for Jessica’s new bedroom. He is right, it would be perfect for her room.
If you are in the Hamptons, it is absolutely worth stopping by. I am sitting in Amagansett right now as I write this post beneath the first piece we bought from Eric. I love the piece. I can see where he started from and how he grew just staring at the painting.
Last night, as we were hugging Eric and congratulating him, he said something so true which just made us all laugh. He looked to Fred and said, “the venture capitalist, always buying before everyone else gets in on it”. Lucky for us, with Eric we absolutely did. Regardless of his work, we have also gained a friend who we have enjoyed watching grow in his success from the sidelines.
Great post. Stumbled across it via Google.
I met Eric in 1989 when he was just 19 years old and am privileged to own more than a dozen of his paintings and four photographs — including a photo series in 9 framed panels that is part of a much larger group that is owned by Dolly Parton — and all of which Eric gave me as gifts on various birthdays and Christmases over the years.
I used to joke that I had the largest collection of his very early art anywhere in the world and if he ever pissed me off I would flood the market with it and kill his resale value.
He’s a wonderful artist but an even more wonderful person.