In ART

Nazem Ahmad started collecting art nearly 30 years ago and has since amassed a spectacular collection that encompasses various media and genres. The Lebanese art lover owns various pieces by the likes of Marc Quinn, Ai Weiwei, Gerhard Richter, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Thomas Heatherwick. Part of his collection is displayed in his Beirut penthouse apartment, allowing guests to experience some of the world’s most breath-taking contemporary masterpieces. He spoke to Selections about his great passion for art and his future plans to make his stupendous collection available to all.

How did you get caught up in art?
I started collecting art in the 1990s with a work on paper by Pablo Picasso. However, I got extremely involved with the NAR Collection a few years later, as I wanted to expand a collection that had strength and perpetuity. I’ve always been really concerned in having the NAR Collection as an educational collection.

How has your knowledge of art been developed and strengthened? Do you use advisors or choose works purely on your own?
I really believe in the saying “the more you see the more you learn.” Once my daughter asked me what would be the best advice I could give her in regards to constantly developing her knowledge of art. I then told her the more you’ll get to see exhibitions and art from all over and all kinds of media, the more you will be able to fulfil your encyclopaedia of the arts. Your eye will mature and distinguish what you like and what you don’t. So in my theory, the more you get to see art the more you learn to exercise your discernment and apply criteria

What inspired you to invest your money and time in collecting art?
My main motive is to collect works that I fall in love with, I don’t really look at the investment part it just follows. As for my time, collecting art is my passion, it’s in my blood, it’s a strong and barely controllable emotion.

Do you buy out of passion or for investment?
I buy out of passion. If you’re investing in art as a collector, buy what you like. Surround yourself with what you define as beautiful, fun or creative, whatever aesthetically pleases you.

How important is an artwork for you? Does it become part of your family?
I consider each artwork of my collection to be part of my family. The art matures with us as a family throughout time.

Middle installation – Antony Gormley The art piece on the right wall – Barbara Kruger

Middle installation – Antony Gormley

The art piece on the right wall – Barbara Kruger

The art piece in the middle – Gerhard Richter On the right – Joseph Klibansky

The art piece in the middle – Gerhard Richter

On the right – Joseph Klibansky

The art piece on the left - Yayoi Kusama On the right – Yayoi Kusama The installation in the middle – Marc Quinn

The art piece on the left – Yayoi Kusama

On the right – Yayoi Kusama

The installation in the middle – Marc Quinn

In the middle – Aaron Garber Maikovska

In the middle – Aaron Garber Maikovska

Tomoo Gokita

Tomoo Gokita

Installation beside the window - Kaws On the left wall – Jean - Michel Basquiat Right – Ayman Baalbaki Middle art piece – Lucio Fontana Wall on the right, first from up – Otto Piene Middle – Mark Grotjhan Bottom – ED Ruscha

Installation beside the window – Kaws

On the left wall – Jean – Michel Basquiat

Right – Ayman Baalbaki

Middle art piece – Lucio Fontana

Wall on the right, first from up – Otto Piene

Middle – Mark Grotjhan

Bottom – ED Ruscha

Right – Tomoo Gokita Down – Tomoo Gokita On the right – KAWS

Right – Tomoo Gokita

Down – Tomoo Gokita

On the right – KAWS

On the wall – Christian Rosa Gold installation – Zio Ziegler On the left wall - Rudolf Stingel

On the wall – Christian Rosa

Gold installation – Zio Ziegler

On the left wall – Rudolf Stingel

Work by Nazem Ahmad’s son

Work by Nazem Ahmad’s son

Upper photo – Joseph Klibansky On the wall – Gunther Forg Blue installation on the floor – Ai Weiwei

Upper photo – Joseph Klibansky

On the wall – Gunther Forg

Blue installation on the floor – Ai Weiwei

on the left – Will Martyr

On the left – Will Martyr

Mark Tansey

Mark Tansey

Glenn Brown

Glenn Brown

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