POR­TRAIT OF THE INSTA-ARTIST

Who needs deal­ers and gal­leries? Artist Zachary Crane has an iPhone.

Los Angeles Confidential - - Contents - BY SPENCER BECK

Eat your art out, Schn­abel, Koons, et al. In just four years, Utah-born pretty boy Zachary Crane, 28, has sin­gle-hand­edly built up a thriv­ing art busi­ness with noth­ing more than an old iPhone and a lot of LDS chutz­pah. Oh, and good art—which cur­rently sells from be­tween $900 to $15,000. Half choir boy, half un­abashed provocateur, Crane counts wealthy col­lec­tors from Cape Town and Cha­monix to Hol­ly­wood and At­lanta (“they love me there”)—as well as a grow­ing group of young, mil­len­nial fans for whom the artist gives big dis­counts. “I set up pay­ment plans for them,” Crane says. “I love that young peo­ple in­vest in my art.” And he met them all on In­sta­gram. zachary crane.com; @zacharycrane

You’ve built your busi­ness largely through so­cial me­dia. What’s the ad­van­tage? Be­fore In­sta­gram, I was show­ing in cof­fee shops. Gal­leries didn’t take me se­ri­ously then. When I went on­line, it opened up a world to me and now I have peo­ple buy­ing from Switzer­land, Nor­way, France. One of my col­lec­tors in Paris has 20 Har­ings, sev­eral Warhols… And he’s been col­lect­ing me now for three years. What’s the dis­ad­van­tage? Giv­ing peo­ple lots of my time with no con­sul­ta­tion fee! What do you think is the fu­ture of the gallery and An art star is born: “I have a lot of clients who frame my paint­ings beau­ti­fully in their homes—in­clud­ing some celebri­ties. I make sure I post a lot of that and, just like [a dealer show­cas­ing work], it adds value to my art,” says go-it-your­self LA artist-about-town Zachary Crane. dealer in­sti­tu­tions? Peo­ple know they can get work cheaper go­ing straight to the source, and they want a real con­nec­tion with the artist. Gal­leries are go­ing to have to em­brace In­sta­gram and re­ally unite with the artist or lose a lot of busi­ness. You do a lot of celebrity por­traits. I started with a paint­ing of Khloé Kar­dashian and La­mar Odom, and I painted her way big­ger than him— hold­ing him like he’s her dainty, lit­tle baby, even though he’s this great ath­lete. It got a big re­ac­tion. De­scribe your per­fect LA day. Ship­ping art! I love buy­ing the tubes and writing a note. I’m al­ways in a great mood when I go to the post of­fice. What do you want to be do­ing at 40? I want to sell out re­ally, re­ally hard… Some­thing cor­po­rate, like be­ing on a Star­bucks cup. And then I want to knife-fight my way back to au­then­tic­ity and start all over.

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