Collector’s Edition: Paul Bright


In this new series, “Collector’s Edition,” we ask people about their personal art collections—from the first piece of art they ever bought to what they want to acquire next. Last time we spoke to Franklin Sirmans of LACMA, and this time we reached out to Paul Bright, owner of Bright Lyons in Brooklyn. Bright Lyons is a modern curiosity shop with an outstanding selection of midcentury furniture, contemporary art, prints and vintage art books. Continue reading to learn about what Paul collects.




What was the first piece of art you bought or acquired?

When I was a teenager in the mid-1990s I worked in a bakery on a nightshift. The Internet was becoming a more useful and powerful tool to buy cool things like rare books and art. I typed keywords like “dada” and “surrealism” into all the book finder websites. Eventually, I found an original copy of Francis Picabia’s infamous Dadaist periodical 391. It was $2200 and it took me six months at my bakery job to gradually pay it off. I’m not sure if you would consider that art, but at the time, I did.




What art do you have in your personal collection now?

A lot of stuff that came out of Providence in the late 1990s and early 2000s like Paper Rad, Dearraindrop, and all the artists that were associated with Fort Thunder. Many of the artists that Kathy Grayson brought into Deitch Projects about 10 years ago. And the “Mission School” people that showed there.

Of course the artists Aaron Rose showed at the Alleged Gallery. Many of the artists that were shown by Canada gallery like Joe Bradley, Michael Williams, and Brian Belott.

Now I’m paying more attention to what Marlborough Chelsea and The Journal Gallery are doing with artists like Andrew Kuo and Jeff Elrod, respectively.




What is your favorite piece in your collection? 

Ben Jones, The Narrator, 2005. It’s a painting from his first solo show. I guess it has sentimental value.




What art would you like to add to your collection?

I always have a top 10 on the go:

1. Jayson Musson coogi sweater
2. Cory Arcangel hacked video game
3. Peter Halley Prison painting
4. Late Francis Picabia polkadot painting
5. Brent Wadden textile
6. Barry McGee ballpoint pen drawing
7. Nichole Eisenman sculpture
8. Forcefield knit costume
9. Small Jack Goldstein painting
10. Joe Bradley robot




Do you collect anything besides art?

Things designed by Alexander Girard and zines.




What did you collect as a child?

Marbles. Beer bottle caps. Hockey stickers (not cards, stickers).

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