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Collector Profile - Josh & Negar Zad

Collector Profile - Josh & Negar Zad

Collector Profile - Josh & Negar Zad

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Collector Profile: Josh & Negar Zad

Nestled in a quiet neighborhood in Beverly Hills, CA sits the bright and airy home of Josh Zad, Founder of Alfred Coffee, and more recently, Calidad Beer. Alongside his wife Negar, the beverage entrepreneur has curated their collection with a specific purpose; to bring happiness and light into the space. Whether it was the sunshine-inspired Cheryl Humphrey work in the bedroom, or the rich Ethan Caflisch above their mantle, Josh and Negar set out to form connections across each room in their house through the inspirations that the works evoke. Read on to learn more about his passion for community, and the emotional pull he feels you should have before you purchase art of your own.

Q.

Tell us a little about yourself...

A.

I’m the founder of Alfred Coffee, and more recently, Calidad Beer. I am blessed to do what I love: reimagining everyday commonplace beverages through a creative, unique lens. From coffee to tea to beer, we aren’t doing anything groundbreaking. Just doing it differently than the traditional players.

 

Q.

Who are your all-time favorite artists?

A.

Rousseau is #1. Monet is #2.

 

Q.

What are some of the most sentimental or meaningful pieces in your collection?

A.

Ethan Caflisch’s “I can’t wait to be with you forever” and “Spending the night in a different bed XXVI”, as well as Cheryl Humphreys' “Day & Night.”

 

Q.

Can you tell us a bit more about what inspired Alfred? What's been some of the most exciting moments for you thus far? What are you currently working on with the brand?

A.

Having always had a passion for interior design, I wanted to create a community space to showcase my talents. Coffee culture was on the rise when I first came up with the concept for Alfred in 2012, and I thought if I could make a coffee shop that was more efficient, more thoughtful and more inviting than those around me then I would be successful in my mission. The most exciting moments thus far are collaborating with Disney on a coffee sleeve (and having Minnie Mouse show up to our Melrose Place location to promote our partnership, having Alfred (and myself as an extra) featured on an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, and expanding Alfred into Japan! Currently working on some exciting consumer products to expand Alfred beyond our four walls, and into grocery.

 

Josh Zad says

"Start by collecting things that make you smile or make you feel a certain way. A daily feeling has no monetary value that can be assigned."

Q.

Your spaces feature beautifully designed cafes, and fantastic gallery walls in select locations. Why was it important for you to have artworks in Alfred spaces?

A.

The premise of Alfred early on was to invest heavily into experience; other third wave coffee shops were so focused on the craft of coffee that the areas where customers were actually spending time usually took a hit. Part of creating a warm, welcoming environment is making it feel like home, and art is the ultimate cherry on top for that connection. Art conveys a welcoming energy that Alfred fans appreciate.

 

Q.

What was the first piece you fell in love with, and why?

A.

Our large statement work by Anna Valdez. The vivid color, the spatial play between the rug and the tree stump, and the succulents. Also, it looks like it could be a scene from an Alfred location.

 

Q.

What's your relationship to emerging art? Is it important to you to invest in artists careers from the beginning?

A.

As an entrepreneur, I am always rooting for the newcomers and those that are on the cusp of budding careers. There is so much talent out there, and to have someone like Tappan filter through that talent, organize it and deliver it so seamlessly makes the process of supporting emerging artists a pleasure. It is always nice when someone comes over and asks about a particular piece of art, and I can also explain a bit about that person and their career arc and how I first came in contact with them.

 

Q.

Favorite museum or creative space for inspiration?

A.

Musee d’Orsay for sure. The breadth of the collection, the steadiness of the permanence of the heavy hitting pieces, the best artists of all time, all in the context of a grand and very open museum. Every time I visit it it also means I am in Paris, which is already exciting.

 

Q.

What are some of the most sentimental or meaningful pieces in your collection, and why?

A.

Cheryl Humphreys’ “Day & Night” ironically is the first thing we put in our bedroom other than our bed. Not only did it set the tone for the orange-ish color palette of the rest of the room, but the name signifies exactly how it makes us feel. It is like a GOOD MORNING every time I see it, the sun’s rays rising and setting on perfectly floating blind embossed gradient paper.

 

Ethan Caflisch’s “Spending the night in a different bed XXVI” was the perfect piece for our living room, in terms of size, color palette, and texture. Sometimes you just nail it 100% and think “not a single other piece would have ever worked here...” This was that time. It energizes and drives the whole room.

 

Q.

When did you first start acquiring art?

A.

2016.

 

Q.

For new collectors, do you have any advice you wish to impart? Do you have a collecting ethos or philosophy that you want to share?

A.

Do not consider value, resale or artist pedigree. Instead, start by collecting things that make you smile or make you feel a certain way. A daily feeling has no monetary value that can be assigned. Stir up that energy in your home whatever the piece may be, and whoever the artist may be. That’s how you get hooked on art.

 

Q.

Who do you want to collect next?

A.

Sculptures. I have been fortunate enough to collect a lot of paintings and photographs that make me smile daily and inspire me, and I feel like the next level I want to graduate to requires spatial understanding and dimension, as well as manipulation of interesting materials. To be decided!



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