Meet David Drebin, the New York and Miami-based artist who sells his $100,000 work to the rich and famous
- Drebin’s clients include the musician Elton John and Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon.
- His pieces range in price from $4,000 to $100,000. One of his most famous works sold for $30,000.
- Andy Warhol’s “diamond dust” prints serve as Drebin’s current artistic inspiration.
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David Drebin is that friend you invite to a dinner party who knows a little something about everybody and everything.
A multidisciplinary artist who got his start in New York, Drebin now splits his time between New York City, Berlin, Miami and Los Angeles. He’s in Miami for the time being, only because his New York condo is being renovated and decorated by the luxury interior designer Lori Morris, who’s also a collector of his work.
Other rich and famous fans of his work include the musician Elton John, Amazon Fashion President Christine Beauchamp, the German investor Dan-David Golla, and Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon.
“If you do what you love, people come to you. I don’t chase anybody,” Drebin told Insider in an interview conducted poolside at the Mandarin Oriental in Miami. “If someone says, ‘oh, there’s a party, that’s a billionaire and they collect art,’ that is the last person I want to talk to.”
His pieces range in price from $4,000 to $100,000. One of his most famous pieces, “Girl in Paris” is of a woman on a terrace with the patio doors open looking out, with the Eiffel Tower in the background. In 2018, his photograph “Jerusalem” sold for $100,000 through the Art Angels Gallery in Los Angeles.
The 50-year-old Drebin graduated from the Parsons School of Design in 1996, and started his career in New York. But it wasn’t until his first solo exhibition in 2005 held at an art gallery in Berlin that put him on the map. Shortly after that show, he published his first illustrated book titled “Love and Other Stories.”
Over the years, Drebin’s artwork has ranged from neon light installations to sculptures. Today, he says his current work is inspired by Andy Warhol’s “diamond dust” prints, where actual diamonds were crushed up and sprinkled on photographs on archival watercolor paper. Later, Warhol replaced diamonds with pulverized glass to achieve a similar sparkling effect.
“I think it really elevates you as an artist, as a photographer,” he said, referring to using the crushed diamonds technique. But while experimenting with different techniques, he always infuses his work with his own point of view. “I make many different art forms and they’re all unique to me,” he added.
While it’s rare, Drebin says he does occasionally take commissioned work. He just photographed the chef, Mario Carbone, for the cover of Haute Living Miami. Carbone’s namesake restaurant is the trendy Italian eatery famous for its red sauce, as well as celebrity diners like Kim Kardashian and Drake.
For those seeking to take a Drebin home, don’t expect a friend’s discount. Drebin insists he only sells his pieces through art galleries, like Contessa Gallery in Palm Beach, where his work is displayed alongside other art legends like Salvador Dalí, Chuck Close and Roy Lichtenstein.
“Even when they know me, they can never buy direct,” he said. Still, while some of Drebin’s clients include the 0.01% of the 1%, he says he’s happiest when people buy his work because of how the art makes them feel, not because of his fame.
“When someone walks into the gallery and asks, ‘is Drebin hot right now?’ the galleries will say Drebin’s not a trend – he’s a classic with a track record,” he said. “I’m not an artist of the moment.”
Here’s a sample of Drebin’s art
“Girl in Paris” which sold to a multimillionaire finance CEO for $30,000.