Anna and Yant, arrival 27

The Wall Street Journal described her as a “Millennial Botticelli” and two of her paintings recently sold for $1.5 million at auction. Anna Wayant, 27, is the new star of the New York art scene. Courtesy of influential art dealer Larry Gagosian.

Young woman falling from the stairs upside down. Her tongue stick out, her eyes wince, and her breasts threaten to fall out of her dress. The painting from 2020 is called ‘Falling Woman’, and it is painted with oil on canvas in old Dutch colours. Auction house Sotheby’s expected to fetch $150,000, and possibly $200,000 at auction on May 19. But an unknown buyer paid at least $1.62 million (1.59 million euros) for it.

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Anna Wyant (27 years old) was born in Calgary, Canada. She moved to the United States, where she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2017. After her education she moved to New York, where she initially only stayed for a short time. To continue her education, she went to the Chinese Academy of Arts in Hangzhou. Seven months later she returned to New York, where she began working in a gallery. At the same time, she began to develop her own business. In 2019, she had her first exhibition at 56 Henry Gallery in New York. Three years later, it is in the Gagosian, one of the most important art galleries in the world.

This wasn’t the 27-year-old Canadian artist Anna Wyant’s first hit. On May 10, something similar happened to another canvas for her. Summertime was estimated at $200,000-300,000, but brought in $1.5 million at Christie’s in New York. Auctions in June confirmed this trend, albeit in lower absolute numbers. Estimates were always four to five times lower than the final sale price.

Not that those millions of auctions ended up with Weyant. I’ve sold both works before, but for a few hundred or a few thousand dollars. But this means that her new business is now worth at least a few hundred thousand euros. Three years after its discovery, it arrived. So much so that it has actually been listed by Gagosian Gallery, one of the world’s most influential art dealers, named after 77-year-old owner Larry Gagosian.

Impressive details: Weyant exclusive with Gagosian. According to specialized art news, there is even an affair. So it was soon said that Wayant could not climb to the top of the American art world due to her artistic qualities alone.

Summer: Christie’s estimated $200,000 to $300,000, and sold for $1.5 million.
© Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Christie’s Pictures 2022

I was hoping I could pass on my concerns to the women I paint.

“The gossip comes mainly from middle-aged white men. A typical case of misogyny. Anna works hard and is very strict about the quality of her work,” Ellie Rains, owner of 56 Henry Gallery in New York, came under attack. Rines was the first gallery owner to offer exhibition space to Weyant in 2019, after seeing her work on Instagram.

Respected technical advisor Vasily Kaliman also defended Wayant. “She’s very good. She would have gotten there even if she wasn’t Gagosian’s girlfriend, maybe not so fast,” he told The Daily Beast. According to Gagosian himself, he and Anna doubted whether she should join his exhibition. She did it anyway because Gagosian “wanted to protect her from the big wolf wolves”.

Wayant often paints young women in a vulnerable position or in a moment of weakness. The paintings do not radiate threat or fear of death, but rather discomfort. Art of Choice, a New York art consultant, describes her characters as ‘wax-like and corpses, but not flat or without emotion. They are curious, boring, neglectful, or sad. The Wall Street Journal describes her as a “Millennial Botticelli”.

“The photos are part of her autobiography,” Wayant told the American Business Journal. In her second year at art school in New York, she began painting women and girls who had begun to get lost in the forests of fairy tales. I was confused, homesick, frightened there in that new country. I was hoping I could pass on my concerns to the women I paint. At least give me someone to talk to.

Weyant does not come from an artistic family. Her father was a lawyer and her mother was a lawyer. I attended art school “because it was the first school in the New York area where I was accepted.” She was fascinated by the work of British painter Lucian Freud. She soon became inspired by Dutch masters such as Gerrit van Honthorst, Gerard ter Porsche the Younger and Judith Lister, but also by contemporary American painter John Curren.

Falling Woman: valued at $150,000 to $200,000 by Sotheby’s, sold for $1.62 million.
© Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Sothebys

200 waiting

According to the Wall Street Journal, there is now a waiting list for Weyant’s work of at least two hundred names. Weyant also finds it intimidating in the realization that very high auction prices can scare off true collectors. Then her work ends with art opportunists, who easily replace her with the next star in the sky. “I feel the pressure is building.”

American art critic Jerry Saltz understands this. It’s hard to draw if you hear a little voice in your head talking about sums and numbers. Hope you can dump it.

© Financial Diary

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