GLB: Please tell us about your work and how you got started.
Zach: I got started drawing eyes when I was a kid.
Now I consider myself a figurative artist working primarily in charcoal and oil paint. On first impression, my figures are black and white. But in each stroke is that gray intangible space in-between the contrasts that art’s all about.
You could say they are classical figure drawing, and you could say they’re a sketch. You could say messy, but you can say raw. You could say a sense of solitude, but they are present. They are alone, but I prefer them hung together. There’s the gray of their exhaustion but an echo of “Here I still am”, quiet but deafening, fragile yet anchored, they are black, white and gray.
Completely unfinished, but complete.
GLB: How long have you been painting?
Zach: Drawing my whole life, but painting only for a few years now.
GLB: Where do you find inspiration?
Zach: Where don’t I? You can find it anywhere, but I do have a special appreciation of the impressionists, Toulouse Lautrec’s simplified renderings of his chaotic world , Degas’ sense of fleeting presence in his paintings but also his clay, and the fan favorite—Picasso’s blue period. But of living artists, I’m a stan for Malcolm Liepke’s scenes, Mark Demsteader’s drawings, Nick Alm’s figurative scenes, and Peter Doig’s dreamlike pieces.
When I see a piece I connect with, I go, “Maybe I could do that one day…” and that’s the motivator. Always learning.
GLB: How would you describe your work in 3 words?
Zach: I probably can’t.
GLB: What is your favorite piece?
Zach: I’ve always loved Impression No. 1, the first of the series. It was done at the end of a very long 3 hour model session, and everyone was tired. But we said, just one more:
And Impression No. 18, which was a similar story.
I also have some more recent favorites from the series, done last year:
And Impression No. 42 will always be a favorite since exhibited in San Francisco’s DeYoung Museum in 2019.
And for the past few years, I’ve been focused on oil painting. In either an evolution or a complete divergence from my charcoal Impression series, I’ve enjoyed working on these two party scenes:
GLB: Does living in Los Angeles inspire your work in any way? How?
Zach: I mean, if the gray in between black and white doesn’t describe Los Angeles, then tell me your secrets. You love it in some ways, you can’t stand it in others. It makes you tired but it keeps you young.
We’re so online these days that I think I’d get my inspiration the same way almost anywhere. There’s certainly less quiet here than other places, and that applies to the art here too—the city and galleries love the loud and colorful snap-crackle-pop of contemporary art, which I find really hit or miss. I enjoy struggling with a single lever before adding glitter.
But LA does have the special quality of these Spanish influenced homes, and I’m fortunate enough to find my calm and creativity in one of them here. Coffee and charcoal mornings are good.
GLB: Anything new you are working on that you’d like to talk about?
Zach: I’ve been exploring a new contrast recently with AI. The introduction of AI to classical based art is interesting because it makes creativity instant. I love the idea of generating references with AI in 30 seconds, and then spending hours and days and weeks painting it. Especially trying to computer generated humans feel real. And so it’s fascinating this contrast of this lively, instantly generated scene of humans that takes the opposite to recreate as a traditional painting.
GLB: Where can we find your work? When can we purchase it?
Zach: Originals and limited edition prints can be found on my website at zachkrasner.com. Message me on Instagram @zachkrasner or at email@example.com for inquiries on originals, commissions, or special projects.
GLB: Anything else you would like to share?
Zach: Thank you so much for featuring this work, our home, and my studio—thank you for supporting an artist. You’re wonderful, and I hope that GLB Properties continues to foster and showcase creative work here in Los Angeles!