What I Buy and Why: Pulse Music Group Founder Josh Abraham Has an On Kawara of His Birthday Date


For Joshua Braham, music and art are inextricably linked. His recent involvement as the organizer of LACMA’s “Artists Inspired By Music: Interscope Reimagined” has cemented him as a mover and shaker in the Southern California art scene.

Before Freeze Los Angeles, another big moment in the city’s art scene, we heard a little more about his journey as a collector sitting with Abraham and listening to music.

What was your first purchase (and how much did you pay for it)?

In early 2001, Blum & Poe was this stamp-sized gallery in Santa Monica’s office park. I instinctively bought Yoshitomo Nara for the record price of $ 35,000 at the time. It was a lucky start from the gate.

What did you buy recently?

I am particularly passionate about contemporary Italian artists like Lucio Fontana, artists such as Janice Counellis and Swiss, and members of Arte Povera like Olivier Mosset. I recently purchased a large “Arazi” piece by Alighiero Boetti. The multifaceted and multi-artistic nature of Alighiero Boetti’s practice is fascinating to me. For Boetti, it takes a village, much like making music. In his case, it literally took the village. The “Arazi” series is a wonderful embroidery work created in collaboration with Afghan and Pakistani artisans.

Which works or artists do you want to add to your collection this year?

I’m a big fan of Josef Albers and I don’t think I can fully emphasize his importance in contemporary art, and ultimately in contemporary art.I try to collect artists as thoroughly as possible, and I’m fortunate Homage to the square, His most famous series, but I would like to add one of his “Adobe” works to my collection. His ideas on color theory and abstraction allowed me to see this connection between all artists and paved the way for many contemporary artists. Curiously, this led me to take a deeper look at the work of Reggie Burrows Hodges, who also uses color and abstraction to tell his story. At first glance, this may not seem like the case, but the two artists use the same language to express their ideas.

What is the most expensive work of art you own?

Instead of scoring the value of individual pieces, we’ll look at the entire collection … but a picture of Ed Ruscha’s “Mountain” that says “DOWN TOWN” where insurance companies are claiming high premiums. there is.

Where do you buy art most often?

My relationship in the art world, like my relationship in the music industry, is very individual. I connected some of my best friends by discussing, collecting, visiting studios, and going to art fairs about the work of my favorite artists. I was fortunate enough to be able to build relationships with people in the art world who are pointing to this particular kind of creativity. I recognize them as much as the people I work with in music.

What started as a hobby has turned into a deep passion that drives me every day. Thanks to galleries such as David Kordansky, Karma and Various Small Fires, I was able to meet some really great artists. This gave me the opportunity to gather the artists I’m most passionate about. My favorite gallery in Milan, Massimo de Carlo, helped me get Boetti, but Gagosian supported my collection in many ways.

Joshua Braham, CEO and founder of the Pulse Music Group. Courtesy of Pulse.

Are there any works that you regret buying?

The journey is long and as a collector you are constantly evolving, shaping and learning. My collection started as an impulse purchase and is now all intuitive, but time consuming.

In terms of music production, there isn’t much difference. I kept going until I got the right song, and when it came out and connected, that was when I started to trust myself. It’s about trusting your guts and confidently knowing when the song will stop going in the opposite direction and when you won’t give it a great picture. Regret allows us to continue to measure when making decisions.

What kind of work is hanging on the sofa?

One room has a salon-style wall of Raymond Pettibon’s drawings purchased from the Regen Gallery in the early 2000s, and another room has Ed Ruscha’s “City Lights” with the words “PULSE” as a homage to music. There is a picture of. A company I co-founded.

How is your bathroom?

Now I have On Kawara’s “I Got Up” series, which happens to be my birthday too. It was pretty cool because I wasn’t looking for it, it just found me. Finding your birthday is pretty rare!

What is the most unrealistic work of art you own?

Although impractical, Ugo Rondinone’s “humanity” sculptures are not the most mobile. Made for the outdoors and made of bluestone, concrete and steel, I love this sculpture and decided to put it indoors. It certainly directs a hang in that area of ​​the house!

What kind of work did you want to buy if you had the opportunity?

I think every collector could probably rattle from the list, and I’m no exception to the rules. I have to say the picture of Günther Förg’s “Back and Forth”. Inspired by photographs of the interior of Francis Bacon’s studio, these paintings are beautiful, at the same time conceptual, a theme that seems to go through my collection. There was one with a color palette that I didn’t know when I first saw it, but today I chose only that.

I have a friend who has parents who run a gallery in LA and showed me Basquiat. He had a late night party in the 90’s, but his work leaned against the wall and offered almost nothing while everyone was having a party.

Cy Twombly Rome (1972). Image courtesy of Sotheby's.

Cy Twombly Rome (1972). Image courtesy of Sotheby’s.

What if you could steal a work of art without getting caught?

Cy Twombly’s “Blackboard” is a good choice.

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