from selling paintings on the beach to over $1 million at auction

  • Anna Weyant’s career has been meteoric in recent years

  • His works were discovered thanks to Instagram

  • He is the last and brightest star in the world of painting

In the summer of 2019, the drawings of Anna Weyant they rested on a beach towel at an art fair in the Hamptons, with some selling for $400. But a lot has happened since then: three years later, The Wall Street Journal refers to her as the “millennial Botticelli” and her works can now exceed a million dollars at auction.

A worker at Sotheby's auctions puts Sandro Botticelli's

A Sotheby’s worker places “Young Man Holding a Roundel” by Sandro Botticelli. Photo: REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

It has been a meteoric rise to the top of the contemporary art world for Weyant, a far cry from his humble beginnings in Calgary, Canada. Raised in a family of lawyers and judges, the only paintings of her from her childhood were her grandfather’s finds at the flea market.

Weyant, of 27 years, told the WSJ that she enrolled in the Rhode Island School of Design because she had moved to New York and that was the closest institution that accepted her. In her second year, she began painting women and girls “who seemed lost in a fairy tale.”

“New, confused and nostalgic in a new country, I was afraid”, he counted. “I remember thinking that if I could transfer my fears to the woman I was painting, at least I had someone else in the conversation with me.”

After graduating in 2017, he spent seven months painting at the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou, but his big break came when he returned to new york in the spring of 2018 and began a job as an assistant to the pointillist-style painter Cynthia Talmadge.

“Discovered” on Instagram and Google

Instagram played a substantial role in its explosive success. It was Talmadge who began posting some of Weyant’s work to her personal account, including the now-famous painting of a young woman lounging in a bathrobe with one leg raised skyward, “Reposed V.”

Talmadge also presented her to her dealer at the New York Art Gallery”56 Henry”, Ellie Rines. “I saw a lot of potential in her,” said Rines, who was the one who sold his drawings at the Hamptons fair.

That same summer, art critic Jerry Saltz posted nine samples of his work on Instagram. which he said he had found by googling it. Currently, he does not own any of her work, but claims that he simply found her work “exciting” to her.

By September 2019, he was already participating in his first solo exhibition in New York, “Welcome to the Dollhouse”, at the 56 Henry gallery.

“Her paintings of somber girls epitomize the agonies of early adolescence, including one who had tissues stuffed into her open bra,” reported WSJ. Each piece sold for between $2,000 and $12,000.

Weyant’s oeuvre of approximately 50 paintings has already found its way into the hands of major collectors. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art recently featured his work in a group show, and former Venice Biennale curator Francesco Bonami predicted that he would soon make his own appearance at the event, which would be another milestone in his career.

As it stands, demand for his art outstrips supply: The waiting list to buy one of his paintings, dealers say, is at least 200 names. And last month, when each of the three major New York auction houses listed his work, she decided to partner with the biggest art gallery of them all, Gagosian.

News of her Christie’s debut left her too nervous to attend or even watch the live broadcast. “Summertime,” her portrait of a woman with long, flowing hair that she had sold for around US$12,000 two years earlier, was resold for US$1.5 million, five times his highest estimate.

“People kept congratulating me,” she said, but the sale did not reassure her. “All I felt was pressure.”

Her record is a 2020 portrait, “Falling Woman,” which sold in Sotheby’s for $1.6 million, eight times its highest estimate. The painting was consigned by Tim Blum, Weyant’s former dealer at Los Angeles gallery Blum & Poe, with whom Weyant has since cut ties.

The artist had sold her “Falling Woman” to Blum for just $15,000. Once she learned that three of her works were going up for auction, Weyant announced that she had officially moved to the Gagosian Gallery.

Her controversial relationship with Larry Gagosian

By the spring of 2021, Weyant was already on the rise. Prices for his paintings were close to $50,000. Blum & Poe, which by then represented her exclusively, allowed people to visit her first solo show, including art dealer Larry Gagosian, who later invited her to dinner at her Beverly Hills home.

Half Gallery’s Bill Powers had introduced Gagosian to Weyant’s work in images of more than a dozen artists’ works sent to him via his cell phone.

The 77-year-old founder of arguably the world’s most powerful art gallery network said Weyant’s work on that lot stood out as “refined and imaginative.” “I loved the clarity and the moodiness,” he added.

Gagosian was quick to visit 56 Henry and purchase “Head,” a Weyant painting in which a woman’s blonde hair cascades over her bare shoulders. He is hanging in her house now, he said.

Larry Gagosian, Jeffey Deitch and Anna Weyant attend the party

Larry Gagosian, Jeffey Deitch and Anna Weyant attend the “Maya Ruiz-Picasso, Fille de Pablo” party at the Musee des Arts Forains in Paris, France (Photo by Luc Castel/GettyImages)

During the last year, the artist has maintained a love relationship with the famous dealer. He says he had never dated an artist of any kind before and was hesitant about signing her to her gallery due to her public scrutiny. However, he believes he can help get more of Weyant’s pieces into museums than auction catalogues, and when it comes to discussions of her career, she said, she treats her the same as hers. other artists of hers.

Very soon, art and entertainment magazines began to see the couple in Paris and Saint-Tropez. Her works, meanwhile, were increasingly impossible to find on the market.

Now, Weyant is trying to focus on his upcoming solo show for Gagosian in November. The women she paints seem to be changing, taking on larger canvases and donning ruby ​​lips and ponytails, “like wicked cheerleaders,” the artist said.

“My fear is perhaps becoming more theatrical,” he said. “I feel like I have my balance now.”

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