Magnificent Obsession | Lonn Apfel

Lonn Apfel

Rancho Cucamonga, CA


Lonn Apfel

What kind of artwork do you collect? It’s realism. The cleaner and crisper it is, the more I enjoy it. The work and skill to create that image is awesome to me.

How would you describe your approach to collecting? I do most of my collecting online. Magazines help me to find galleries online. The galleries I work with are in Washington state, New York, and Scottsdale, and I can’t just get up and visit those.

How many pieces have you acquired over the years? About 30. And of David Gray’s work, I have one less than I plan to have.

How long have you been collecting? I’ve been collecting original art for about 12 years.

How did you get started? I started collecting Thomas Kincaid prints, and then he got to be everywhere. That’s when I saw a painting in a gallery window in Carmel, and it really captivated me. I went in and inquired about it. When the gallery owner told me the price, I said, “Thanks, but no thanks.” She said, “But you can make payments,” and that’s what opened Pandora’s box. She said she could stretch it out for 12 payments, and when it was broken out that way, I thought, I could do that. I enjoyed the anticipation, knowing that at the end of that period, I would have that piece of art.

What was the first piece you purchased? It’s a still life of flowers with a bottle of wine by Lex Gonzalez.

What’s your most recent acquisition? STORYTELLER by David Gray.

What’s on your wish list for the future? Another Duffy Sheridan. I got the one I have by the luck of the draw. Sheridan is one of the best living figurative painters that I’ve ever come across. He participates in a Christmas show at Howard/Manville Gallery in Washington. The show is always by draw. I had someone put my name in, and when I called to ask who got it, they said, “You did. Do you want it?” I said, “Hell yeah!”

What piece do visitors comment on the most? A 40-by-60 piece by An He because of its size. Inside my office there are 15 to 18 pieces. It’s like a mini gallery. People just come in to look. I should charge admission! Joking aside, I greatly appreciate the opportunity to share the paintings.

Why do you collect? I like to look at beautiful things, but I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s the hunt. The object attained is the trophy, but when I’m out there looking for something, the hunt is afoot. It’s not so much the arrival at the destination as enjoying the journey.