After a decade in the art business, accidental art dealer Steve Lazarides has beaten all odds and looks to the future with Qatari business tycoon Wissam Al Mana.
By Max Berlinger
Ten years is a long time —120 months, 520 weeks, 3,650 days, 87,600 hours, and so on. And this decade, from 2006 to now, has felt especially long with the advent of social media helping to change the way we understand the world around us, changing the way we understand time itself. This has been a particularly long decade for those who work in the art world, a decade where everyone with an iPhone camera and an Instagram following fancies themselves an artist and where likes and filters have come to mean more than paint strokes and ideas. It’s the decade that everything changed.
Naturally, the art market has been rocked by these developments, and it’s reflected in the record-setting auction prices and a new generation of artists who bring a digital energy to their work. It’s an unstable, thrilling time and it’s the era in which Steve Lazarides has owned his gallery in London, aptly called Lazarides and this year, he celebrated his first decade as a gallery owner and art dealer in perhaps the most tumultuous art market ever known. He started his business just as the global financial markets faltered, and he’s survived nonetheless.
"It's a miracle that we are still here. Every step of the way we were told by the art world that what we were doing was impossible, and it would never work. But you know, we're still here" - Steve Lazarides
His survival against all odds proves that success is not limited to conforming to rules and following a beaten path. Earlier this year, he forged a partnership with the Qatari business mogul Wissam Al Mana, a signal that Lazarides is serious about continuing his work in the art world in a major way.
“I have been interested in opening an art gallery for quite some time. As an art lover and collector, owning a gallery seemed the next thing to do, so when Steve approached me to partner with him, it was a great opportunity to penetrate the art world by being part of a successful and renowned gallery with a potential to take it to the next level” – Wissam Al Mana