The Collectors: Steven Ames, private investor, and his wife, Ann
Steven: I’m on the board of the Whitney, and at a meeting in October, a work by Zak came up—the drawing committee loved it and bought it. [This] work is very obsessive—the detail is spectacular, but it also tells a story. I suspect the artist is very different from me. I can’t say I know him from [the art], but I think I have clues.
The work: Spidey, Berlin (2006)
Acrylic and ink on paper, sold for $15,000 by Fredericks & Freiser at the Armory Show.
The Artist: Zak Smith
When I was in Berlin at a grindcore show, this guy said, “I vant your Black Sabbath patch”—on my jacket. I ended up staying with him and his girlfriend, Spidey, and Spidey had a real physical grace. Some of the money goes back to the girls I paint, so Spidey will get 15 percent of my cut. I don’t need all that money.