How this young Canadian transitioned from a painter’s assistant to a multi-million dollar New York art phenomenon

Three years ago, Anna Weyant’s paintings were sold at the Hamptons open-air fair for $ 450 each. In May, her “Falling Woman” was auctioned for US $ 1.6 million.

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The 27-year-old Calgary-born painter, touted as the latest loved one in the New York art scene, is experiencing a whirlwind of fame.

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In late May, Anna Weyant’s painting “Falling Woman” was sold at a Sotheby’s auction for $ 1.6 million. This is a multiple of the estimated $ 150,000 to $ 200,000. A few weeks ago, another oil painting “Summertime” was sold at a Christie’s auction for $ 1.2 million, and the 2021 painting Buffet II was sold to Hong Kong bidders at a Philips auction for $ 580,000.

Three years ago, Wyant’s figurative paintings and paintings were placed on blankets and sold for $ 450 each at the “Amazingly Cold” Art Fair in the Hamptons, ARTnews reported.

Since the beach sale on Long Island, three of Wyant’s solo exhibitions have been sold out. The Wall Street Journal Likening her to “Botticelli as a Millennial” in her long-weekend profile, she is recently represented exclusively by the powerful Gagosian Gallery currently dating 77-year-old founder Larry Gagosian, Wyant. It came to be.

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Wyant, a painting professor at Rhode Island Design School, said romance and considerable age differences were the subject of “sneaky and disgusting” remarks. WSJ (Wyant is a 2017 school graduate). Last August, the couple was found on the beach in Saint-Tropez.

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“She is smart and has this Midwestern reserve. She doesn’t speak all artistic terms,” ​​Gagosian said. WSJ. “I’m just trying to protect her from the big bad wolf.”

The profile details Wyant’s split with a former agent who bought “Falling Woman” from her for $ 15,000 a year ago. Today, Wyant’s waiting list has hundreds of names, and she is preparing for Gagosian’s solo exhibition in New York this fall.

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Weyant, the daughter of a lawyer, was inspired by a French painter to compose, create a color palette from a Dutch master, as well as Eloise’s children’s books, Madeline dolls, and more. New Yorker Cartoons, Grinch, her own life, and friends (she regularly paints and ranks third in the National Gallery of Canada’s “Do You Want to Be an Artist?” Contest for a portrait of her friend Isabel. I am).

She describes her childhood as “pastoral in many respects” and her personality is a bit bubbly in appearance. She attended a conservative school on the outskirts of Calgary, where the children didn’t wear very adorable olive-green uniforms (various shades of green are part of her characteristic calm palette). She is also fascinated by tweens and adolescent “low stakes trauma.” In “Welcome to the Dollhouse,” modeled after her childhood dollhouse, a doll escaped from the window with a rope. In another room, two thin legs stick out from under the bed. I’m sitting in a bathtub full of other dolls. “The work hints at the real wickedness hidden under the distracting veneer,” writes writer and curator Jens Hoffmann.

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“Loose Screw” features a woman who looks impressive like a Wyant caught in profile at a bar. In “Falling Woman,” the character turns upside down, her surprised mouth opens, and her breasts spill. Wyant characters are often heavy on cleavage and flowing hair.

She prefers dark greens and dark yellows to bright colors, and tells journalist and gallery owner Bill Powers, “There’s some tranquility that needs this really subdued melancholic tone.”

“Recently someone told me that my palette felt dead to them. I took it as a compliment. That is, I think they are quiet. And quiet is powerful. I think it will be a thing. “

Anna Weyant's Falling Woman on display at Sotheby's. Wyant characters are often heavy on crevices and flowing hair.
Anna Weyant’s Falling Woman on display at Sotheby’s. Wyant characters are often heavy on crevices and flowing hair. Photo by Stephen Smith / Shipa USA

She is obsessed with “dark and dark humor” and tragic stories. “If my work has humor, it’s probably closely related to some sort of weird misery,” she told Art & Object’s Paul Laster. She began thinking about her artist career when “I realized I wasn’t talented elsewhere.” She was discovered three years ago when another New York-based painter posted a portion of her work on Instagram.

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In New York, Wyant paints from her one-bedroom apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Early in her pandemic, she returned to Calgary with her parents and set up a temporary studio using her mother’s platter as a pallet. She explained to Powers that it takes a long time for oil paints to dry in Calgary. “It’s very cold and dry.”

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She is grateful for her rapid rise in the art world, she told The Wall Street Journal Kelly Crow, but she felt only the “pressure” when Christie’s bids rose. rice field.

“The art world loves to devour the young man,” art critic Jerry Saltz told The WSJ. “It can be difficult to whisper numbers and prices in another voice in her head, but maybe she can.”

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