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Actor Liev Schreiber explains why he collects his friends’ art and the beloved painting his mother made for him




Liev Schreiber says he’s not an art expert “I know very little about art,” he tells Artnet News, but as an actor who went through the Yale School of Drama before he found success both on stage and on screen, he can understand the struggle of young artists. to make a living from their profession.

This is part of what drew him to the New York Art Academy, where it has become a staple of school fundraising evenings. His annual Tribeca Ball where the school opens the doors to student studios is one of Schreiber’s favorite places to shop for art.

“It felt like my own experience of graduating and hiring to work in a professional theater for the first time. The feeling, as I imagined it, walking through these studios, that these artists must have felt, seeing all these well-healed New Yorkers come and watch their plays, was really exciting to me, ”says Shreiber.

“I loved being there for this moment of their updating: they had always been artists, but in a way this financial exchange ratified them as such,” he adds. “And I remember that feeling to myself and I really, really, really enjoyed being there for someone else’s story.

Schreiber spoke with Artnet News about the art he bought over the years for his New York home and the beloved painting his mother made of her dog.

Anna Park, make friends.  Courtesy of the New York Academy of Art.

Anna Park, To make friends. Courtesy of the New York Academy of Art.

What was your first purchase?

A painting my friend in college made. Her name was Gina Freschette. It was a favor because she was broke. It was abstract work and I had just done my first gig at the movies and paid off my student loans and I was flush with it. I think I gave him $ 1,000.

What was your last purchase?

Anna park’sTo make friends. She is a graduate student at the academy. It’s an absurd and distorted image of a bunch of people at a party looking a bit drunk and blurry. When an artist captures an idea perfectly, I thought between title and image, she had really nailed down the chaotic, drunken state that we call making friends, that people take for granted in social situations. I thought the tongue-in-cheek title was really perfect.

What is the most expensive piece of art you own?

I have a Jan Frank track. He is my neighbor and we are friends. It’s a plywood summary. In fact, I’m taking that back. I have one of Sam Messer’s typewriters. It is probably my most expensive job.

Where do you buy art most often?

From my friends or from the New York Academy. At Bal Tribeca, the fun is meeting the artists. And this is the reason for me to buy photos. You have a connection with the artist and the piece.

Is there a work of art that you regret buying?

No. Why would you buy it if you didn’t want to buy it? It’s no big deal for me. I don’t think about the resale value. I buy for reasons that go beyond the job itself. I want to keep something that someone has done that means something to me.

What work have you hung over your sofa? And in your bathroom?

There is no wall behind my sofa, but it faces Jan Frank and myMadeline Hines. In the bathroom I have Nick Sanchez ballpoint pen drawings of my kids and lots of pictures of them.

Madeline Hines, <em>Window I</em>.  Courtesy of the New York Academy of Art.  “width =” 826 “height =” 1024 “srcset =”×1024.jpg 826w, https: //news.artnet .com / app / news-upload / 2021/03 / Hines_Madeleine_Window-I-242×300.jpg 242w,×50.jpg 40w ,×1920.jpg 1549w “sizes =” (maximum width: 826px) 100vw, 826px “/></p><p class=Madeline Hines, Window I. Courtesy of the New York Academy of Art.

What’s the least practical piece of art you own?

My favorite piece is actually impractical, I guess, because of its size, but it makes me the happiest. He’s a gigantic bear, I think his name is the Great Bearby Aliene de Souza Howell. This is one of the first things I have. It hangs in my daughter’s room. It’s a huge woodcut of a bear swimming in space, and it makes me happy every time I look at it.

Another is something my mom painted for me, but I don’t have it anymore because it rotted. My mom made a giant Bollywood movie poster of my dog, Chicken. It was a nine-by-six-foot wooden cutout of a Jack Russell with rainbows above its head. I loved it, but it was very difficult to hang on. I used to have it at my house in the upstate, but eventually it rotted in the rain. I should have taken better care of it.

Aliene de Souza Howell, <em>Polar bear</em>.  Courtesy of the New York Academy of Art.  “width =” 1024 “height =” 439 “srcset =”×439.jpg 1024w, https : //×129.jpg 300w, 2021/03 / de-Souza-Howell-Aliene_Polar-Bear-50×21.jpg 50w “sizes =” (maximum width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px “/></p><p class=Aliene de Souza Howell, Polar bear. Courtesy of the New York Academy of Art.

What job would you like to have purchased when you had the chance?

I don’t remember that sort of thing. I think once I had the opportunity to buy a [Saul] Steinberg, but it was way too expensive for me so I don’t regret it! It was good, but I couldn’t afford it.

If you could steal a work of art without getting caught, what would it be?

Naomi [Watts, Schreiber’s ex-wife] took an amazing photo of our daughter, Kai, which she has in her office and which excites me. I guess I could just replicate it and buy the same frame and everything, but I would like to steal the one she has.

The virtual of the New York Academy of Artthe gala airs at 6 p.m. on April 5.

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