A 27-year-old star painter is dating her 71-year-old power art dealer after falling out with a former gallerist who bought one of her paintings for $15,000, only to sell it a year later for $1.6 million.
From selling her painting on the sidewalk for $400 just three years ago, Weyant has quickly become the toast of the art world, with several of her works fetching more than $1 million at auction, and their prices expected to clime even higher.
Weyant also has the backing of powerful supporters. For a year, she has been dating 71-year-old Larry Gagosian, and last month she signed a global representation agreement with the famous dealer’s Gagosian Galleries following a bitter business split with dealer Tim Blum of Blum & Poe.
‘I’m just trying to protect her from the big bad wolves,’ Gagosian told the Journal, insisting that when it comes to discussions about Weyant’s career, he treats her the same as any other artist with his gallery.
At the heart of Weyant’s split with her former dealer Blum appears to be her painting ‘Falling Woman,’ which she says she sold to him last year for $15,000 — just half what his gallery was charging collectors for other works in her spring 2021 show.
As interest in her paintings soared, Blum then sent the painting to Sotheby’s for auction, and late last month it fetched $1.6 million, a record for Weyant’s work.
Blum didn’t break any rules in doing so, although dealers don’t usually consign their own artist’s paintings to auction. It’s unclear if he was still representing Weyant when the artwork was dispatched to the tony auction house.
Rising star artist Anna Weyant signed a deal with legendary dealer Larry Gagosian (with her left), whom she is also dating, after a falling out with her former dealer Tim Blum (right)
Though Weyant declined to described her falling out with Blum in detail, she told the Journal that she was unhappy with how things ended, and that the consignment of ‘Falling Woman’ was the final straw in her decision to switch to Gagosian.
Blum declined to comment to the Journal and could not be immediately reached by DailyMail.com.
Born in 1995 in Calgary, Canada, Weyant studied painting at the Rhode Island School of Design, which she says she attended because it was the closest school to New York City that accepted her.
Far from having an artistic upbringing, she is the daughter of a lawyer and a provincial court judge. But she quickly took to painting in college, and even placed in the top three of a Canadian art contest the summer after her senior year.
After graduating in 2017, she spent six months painting at the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou, where she says the city’s sepia tones influenced her now-signature muted palette.
Weyant got her big break when she moved to New York in 2018 and began assisting the established painter Cynthia Talmadge, who promoted her work on her own Instagram account.
Weyant’s works Cheerleaders (left) and Loose Screw (right) are seen above. Weyant got her big break when she moved to New York in 2018 and began assisting the established painter Cynthia Talmadge
Talmadge introduced Weyant to her own dealer Ellie Rines, owner of the New York gallery 56 Henry, who recalled to the Journal: ‘I saw a lot of potential in her.’
Rines helped Weyant make some of her first sales in the summer of 2019, laying out her paintings on a sidewalk at a Hamptons art fair, selling a few for $400 apiece.
Group shows followed, and then Weyant’s first solo show at 56 Henry, titled ‘Welcome To The Dollhouse.’
Gagosian Galleries recently described that series as ‘a sequence of darkly cinematic vignettes depicting a dollhouse and the strange, cloistered lives of its inhabitants.’ The show sold out, with every piece going for between $2,000 to $12,000.
It was around this time that Gagosian first became aware of her work, and purchased one of Weyant’s paintings, titled ‘Head,’ which is hanging in his home today.
By the spring of 2021, Weyant was being exclusively represented by Los Angeles gallery Blum & Poe, and some of her paintings were selling for nearly $50,000 apiece.
Gagosian, who visited her spring 2021 show, invited the artist to have dinner at his Beverly Hills mansion, recalling that he was struck when she asked if he had any gin, which is one of his favorite drinks.
The couple were soon dating and vacationing together in exotic locales such as Paris and Saint-Tropez.
But although Weyant increasingly travels in Gagosian’s jet-set circles, she has tried to remain grounded and sticks to her routines.
She still lives, and paints, in a modest 675-square-foot one-bedroom apartment on New York’s Upper West Side, where she has resided since moving to the city.
Weyant, 27, has made a splash in the art world
Despite her tension with Blum over the matter, it was the Sotheby’s sale of ‘Falling Woman’ last month that set heads spinning and put Weyant’s name on the lips of every collector.
First on the docket for the prestigious evening show, ‘Falling Woman’ blew past all expectations, with the final bid coming in at eight times the high-end estimate.
Weyant’s relationship with Gagosian has also set tongues wagging in the art world.
Prior to dating Weyant, Gagosian and his longtime girlfriend, Chrissie Erpf, a senior director at the gallery, split in 2019, according to Page Six.
Gagosian also briefly dated Holly Bawden, his 35-year-old former personal assistant, later in 2019, the outlet reported.
Weyant’s allies harshly denounce any speculation that her romance with the legendary gallerist has given her a leg up in the cutthroat art world.
‘When someone becomes successful, people kind of forget that that’s a human being,’ Rines, Weyant’s first dealer whom she remains close with, previously told the Daily Beast.
‘She’s a 27-year-old woman, and I think it’s really wild that men, mostly middle-aged men, are spreading all these rumors about her. I think it’s so pathetic.’