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Hi, I’m Brad Feld, a managing director at the Foundry Group who lives in Boulder, Colorado. I invest in software and Internet companies around the US, run marathons and read a lot.

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My New Julien Stanczak

Comments (4)

If you don’t have a vice, I recommend it. 

My good friend and fellow VC blogger Fred Wilson has a music vice.  His blog mixes his passion (ok – kind word for vice) for music with all the other stuff he thinks about, works on, cares about and loves.  When he first started writing about music I tended to skim the posts – now I read every one of them and learn more about music from them than I do any other way.

For some people it is music, for some people it is wine, and for some people it is – well never mind.  My vice is art.  I grew up with art all around me.  My mom (Cecelia Feld) is an artist and as a kid I was dragged from gallery to museum to gallery.  I acted like you’d expect an 11 year boy to act (mom – where is the soccer ball – I don’t want to go to the stupid gallery) but by the time I got to MIT it had sunk in.  MIT doesn’t really have “minors” (they call them “concentrations” just to be different) – one of my concentrations was in Art History.  I now even enjoy going to Santa Fe for the weekend.

Amy and I love to wander around galleries and museums.  Our pace is the same – we are skimmers (people that move briskly through the museum absorbing everything) rather than people than stand and stare at the art.  We learned a long time ago (from a wise art collector) that you should “buy what you love to look at.”  It’s a simple strategy that has served us well over the past 15 years of evolving from beginning art collectors (I remember the agony we went through when we bought our first $1,000 piece since it was a meaningful percentage of my net worth at the time) to what we are today.

On Saturday, we bought our first Julien Stanczak piece while hanging out with our friends at the Danese Gallery in Chelsea.  It’s called Continuum (1995).

Continuum

It’s a big boy – 70 inches by 70 inches.  Stanczak is an early practitioner of Op Art and is less well known than artists like Bridget Riley (and therefore much more affordable.)  Op Art is short for “optical art” and is typically a painting that takes advantage of optical illusions.  Standing in front of a piece like Continuum is mind blowing (and can quickly turn you into a zombie.)

In a couple of weeks, I’ll have Continuum hanging in our office in Boulder. Please feel free to stare at it.  If you enjoy the art posts, or want to learn more, follow the Wikipedia links above.  I’ve been pleasantly amazed with the quality and depth of information on Wikipedia around art and art history.  It’s a great (and safe) way to satisfy a vice.

  • Lloyd Fassett

    I really love the look of that piece, but that might be beside the point.

    I too read Fred Wilson and sometimes download his MP3's to my iPod and appreciate the navigation to recommended music. The interesting kernel here though is that snow boarders are not ex-skiers.

    Something like 20-25% of snow boarders switched from skiing….the majority never would have spent money on the mountain. As markets develop and are discovered there is some expansion, this is not a zero sum game dynamic going on.

    So now, Fred Wilson readers are more into music though that's not what they were looking for. Perhaps your readers will be more into art than before. Ski areas were forced to utilize their infrastructure when they absolutley needed it anyway.

    There's something here about new market development coming from unexpected places that may be more leveragable/scalable in social media to create value (unexpected value?) for users. Experiences that people are not already sampling? Maybe it's just unexpected product placement like CD's at Starbucks. I can't put my finger on it yet.

  • http://woodrow.typepad.com Jason Wood

    Brad, beautiful piece…congrats. My wife and I seem diametrically opposed when it comes to our taste in art; so more often than not we've passed on making a big purchase. I look forward to turning into a zombie when next in Boulder.

    J

  • http://www.izit.com david

    Brad – It's moving.

    I found myself staring at the Continuum for several… err… sips of wine. You have good taste.

  • William Brovelli

    Excellent choice! I suggest checking out Teo Gonzales work, represented by Spanierman Modern N.Y.
    WILL

  • Lloyd Fassett

    I really love the look of that piece, but that might be beside the point.

    I too read Fred Wilson and sometimes download his MP3's to my iPod and appreciate the navigation to recommended music. The interesting kernel here though is that snow boarders are not ex-skiers.

    Something like 20-25% of snow boarders switched from skiing….the majority never would have spent money on the mountain. As markets develop and are discovered there is some expansion, this is not a zero sum game dynamic going on.

    So now, Fred Wilson readers are more into music though that's not what they were looking for. Perhaps your readers will be more into art than before. Ski areas were forced to utilize their infrastructure when they absolutley needed it anyway.

    There's something here about new market development coming from unexpected places that may be more leveragable/scalable in social media to create value (unexpected value?) for users. Experiences that people are not already sampling? Maybe it's just unexpected product placement like CD's at Starbucks. I can't put my finger on it yet.

  • Jason Wood

    Brad, beautiful piece…congrats. My wife and I seem diametrically opposed when it comes to our taste in art; so more often than not we've passed on making a big purchase. I look forward to turning into a zombie when next in Boulder.

    J

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/david1971 david1971

    Brad – It's moving.

    I found myself staring at the Continuum for several… err… sips of wine. You have good taste.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/william_bro5005 william_bro5005

    Excellent choice! I suggest checking out Teo Gonzales work, represented by Spanierman Modern N.Y.
    WILL

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