8:30am PT by Chris Gardner
$300,000 Bong for Sale at Chateau Marmont Art Show
The art dealer known as Mr. Grey — who in 2016 lit up New York with an exhibit of glass-sculpture bongs at a pop-up in his Soho apartment — has popped up at Chateau Marmont, bringing 25 toke-friendly pieces priced from $5,000 to $300,000.
As of early September, the 22-year-old college dropout temporarily relocated to the Chateau, and he won't say for how long, instead opting for an air of mystery. Or some might say a cloud of smoke. "Indefinite," he says. "I didn't tell anyone I was leaving New York. I wanted to build up the hype and leave before people already knew too much about me."
What he will reveal is that once he's ready to pack up from the Chateau, he won't be leaving Los Angeles, just relocating. "I'll move to a new location," says the art dealer, who was born in New York and raised in Connecticut. "I think in downtown Los Angeles in the Arts District, which I love. I think it's really an up-and-coming neighborhood."
Also kept close to the chest is his celebrity clientele, though he does offer this wish list for his L.A. run: "I would love for Johnny Depp to come by, Leonardo DiCaprio — who is an amazing [art] collector — and I'd love to see Justin Bieber down here."
In his down time, Mr. Grey says he loves checking out the permanent collections at LACMA and The Getty even if everything there isn't to his liking. "This might be controversial to say but you see the Renaissance paintings and they're incredible," he explains. "You're looking at these amazing artists, but there's something that just seems a little old about them. The colors might be a little faded and it's just not as exciting as all the art there is today." Which is why, he says, his next "fine art" moves may include neon and mixed media art.
No matter what he does, Mr. Grey will always be grateful for how he got his start — in the cannabis business. And for the record, he does partake in a toke or two from time to time. "I’m not someone you will see smoking every day, all day," he says. "I actually smoke pretty seldomly. People may be surprised that I sell bongs and I don’t smoke that much, but I do appreciate it leisurely and I appreciate that other people can consume it as well."
A version of this story first appeared in the Sept. 13 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.