In an interview, Parisian art collector and a gallery owner Alexandre Lazarew talks about pleasures and challenges of being a gallerist.

Alexandre has collected art for 40 years, and his interest in visual art progressed from narrative figuration to new realists, then to street art and to emerging contemporary artists. Now in his new Gallerie Lazarew in Marais he exhibits what he terms urban art. According to Alexandre, there is a distinction between street art created on the streets and for the streets and urban art which comes from street art but belongs to gallery walls.

Gallerie Lazarew


“Putting a work that was made for the street on a canvas is not relevant; you lose the strength, the symbol, the message.” – says Lazarew.

… artists who come from the streets and/or are inspired by street culture and/or pick some element from the streets in order to make something else. It is important that the artists I show have a legitimacy on the walls of galleries.”

The Interviewer: If someone is thinking of buying art is it best to start with a print by a famous artist or an original work by someone unknown?

Lazarew: Personally I hate editions. I always bought original works. If I don’t have enough money, I prefer to buy an original drawing by a great artist. But this is very personal. The most important thing is to buy what you want to buy. Don’t buy because someone told you had to, especially if you are not convinced. I always say to people who are hesitating: If you have a “crush” on a fantastic piece of art and some extra cash: buy it. Don’t try to guess if it is the right time, or if the artist will be famous, or if your partner will like it, etc.

You can visit Gallery Lazarew at

14 rue du Perche – 75003 Paris /

Вчера ездили в Чесингтон на атракционы. У меня был energy defficiency syndrom. Причем конкретный. Я старалась конечно драму не устраивать, хотя очень хотелось. Я прикинулась самопожертвенным героем и даже постаралась сдерживать себя от слишком очевидного демонстрирования – позы, там, выражения лица и т.п. Ловлю себя на том в эти дни, что напоминаю себе маман. Uh-oh…

Розмари на прошлой неделе вдруг решила меня to shrink. Спрашивала о том о сем, прошлое, детство, что беспокоит. Отношения с родителями. Все такое. Тут-то я себе маман-то и напомнила, хотя сразу конечно не призналась, ни ей, ни себе. Отстраненность – вот что.

Тем более, что читаю теперь эту хрень “чудесную” (A Course in Miracles), и торможу конкретно на уровне повседневной жизни. Все мозги брошены на фронт чудесных упражнений, для жизни ничего не осталось – извиняйте. Сегодняшний урок – “Моя святость благословляет этот мир”

Моя святость благословляет этот компьютер…

Моя святость благословляет этот стол…

Моя святость благословляет эти бумаги…

С утра была полна дивлением на себя хорошую, с легкой подачи Макса Бондаренко, на работу едва времени осталось. Заплетенные в один божественный процес, удивление на себя хорошую, чудеса и психоанализ Розмари привели к решению заняться серией автопортретов. Весь следующий год в той или иной форме буду только собой и заниматься. Не лезть в чужие дела, не пытаться овладеть чьими-то навыками, не учить ближнего как жить. Только я, только мои дела, только мои таланты. В свободное от себя время разрешаю и рекомендую себе ценить дела и таланты окружающих.

Десять автопортретов. Рисунок, масло, акрил. Принт. Меццотинта и сухая игла. Руки. Уголь? Дневник. Курс в чудеса.

Уже на что-то похоже. Уже облекает форму. Структура. Лезли и Анна. Книга. Да.

These were very shaky few months for me – rushing here and there, pressing all sorts of buttons with all sorts of unexpected and half-expected consequences.

What I’ve learned:

1. Have to try and think at least one and a half steps ahead, although it is so hard for my nature.

2. Don’t go against your nature, go with it, and REALLY GO with it. ( In conjunction with the point number one, does it mean, that I don’t have to think ahead? Maybe. Maybe really what I need to do is to succumb to all my impulses and rush about making mistakes at twice the speed? Interesting idea…)

3. My nature is extremely independent. I never fitted into any collective activity, unless short term and under my initiative. Hence, the exhibitions I am to organise, will have to be a one off projects without further obligations. The main purpose of the exhibitions I am going to organise in the future is to self-express my own views on art at that particular moment in my life.

4. Involving lots of people in the affairs of my gallery is NOT a good idea, due to my inexperience of working in a team, and with people in general. However, I am good at establishing a stable decent one-on-one relationships. Which means, I can find a person, whom I will be comfortable with, who could do many things in the gallery instead of me. A PA!

5. The way to go with the gallery at the moment I see like this: Promote it like a home-gallery. Life of the gallery and my own life – family and all, are one. The art and the gallery are my tools of exploring life. The metaphor of life. The activity through which I live life. I am not an expert in history of art, I am not a connoisseur of art. What I know most is, the struggle of an artist to self-express. And that’s what I am talking about through the art I make as well as exhibit in my gallery. And of course, it is very limited and personal point of view – my point of view from where-ever I stand at that particular moment of my life. And life is change. Life is movement. What I want to say today is going to be left behind, forgotten, in a year’s time. The fellow-travellers of today are going to take other routs tomorrow. And that is to be accepted as inevitable flow of the river, called life.

Look at the gallery as at another canvas. Another medium for self-expression. The works of other artists, the crafts, the natural objects, books, poetry, music – anything and everything – are just paints on my pallet. Use it to express what you want to say about life today.

That brings in a completely new concept of an art gallery. It is a boutique of a person/artist, like a brand, like a life-style. I am a brand, I am a life-style. At the moment it is very row, looking immature and a mess. Starting from now, I will have to work on defining myself as a brand, as a life-style.