EXCLUSIVE FIRST ACCESS

Sign up to get first word on new artists, curated collections and exclusive subscriber promotions this season.

Collector Profile - Sonny Ruscha Granade

Collector Profile - Sonny Ruscha Granade

Collector Profile - Sonny Ruscha Granade

|

Collector Profile: Sonny Ruscha Granade

Sonny Ruscha Granade is a staple in the Los Angeles art community. Through her work as Program Director of Sexy Beast, an organization that helps raise money for Planned Parenthood, to her support of the burgeoning community, she brings a unique perspective to the collections she curates and the events she brings together. That same energy applies to her own collection. The daughter of a former art dealer and iconic LA artist Ed Ruscha, her upbringing in the LA art scene deeply impacted her love for acquiring art and supporting artists from an early age. Explore her special collection within her home in Los Angeles, shared with her daughter and husband, artist Rives Granade.

 

Q.

Tell us a little about yourself...

 

A.

My name is Sonny Ruscha Granade and I am a private art dealer and development consultant with deep roots in the Los Angeles art world. Throughout my career, I’ve worked with a number of important galleries like Gagosian and Hannah Hoffman, placing art in significant collections and building their program, spearheaded capital campaigns and raised significant funds for art schools, cultural institutions and nonprofits. I’ve also worked closely with major private collections, acquiring and deaccessioning notable works on their behalf.

Q.

Can you tell us a bit more about Sexy Beast? What's been some of the most exciting moments for you thus far?

 

A.

Sexy Beast is an organization, started in 2014 by my dear friends at Night Gallery, that works closely with Planned Parenthood Los Angeles to raise funds and awareness for them by harnessing the goodwill of the creative community. From 2016 to 2018, my two partners and I raised over a million dollars for this vital healthcare provider through a shirt collaboration with the legendary artist Jenny Holzer and fashion powerhouse Virgil Abloh, which coincided with our epic biennial gala which was essentially a celebration of the creative community at large coming together in support.

Sonny Ruscha Granade says

"Do not buy with your ears--buy with your eyes and your gut."

Q.

When did you first start acquiring art?

A.

I was incredibly lucky to have been born into a beautiful art collection, with my mother being an art dealer and patron and my father an artist. I was raised in a home in Venice Beach designed by Japanese architect Arata Isozaki that was built to house my mother’s collection and serve as an artist residency. When I started working around the age of 16 and would make any small amount of money, rather than buy expensive clothes I would save up for art. I was so passionate that I would beg galleries to let me pay them in small increments - sometimes over the course of several years.

 

Q.

What was the first piece you fell in love with, and why?

A.

As a child, I would often visit our family friend Robert Therrien’s magical studio in downtown LA. There is nothing quite like standing underneath his gargantuan table and chairs, especially as a small child alone and not in a crowded museum setting.

Q.

What are some of the most sentimental or meaningful pieces in your collection? Can you give us a little background on them?

A.

I own a small portrait by the painter Noah Davis that he gave me as a gift one day when I was visiting his studio. We were friends and I was inspired to the core by his vision and the seemingly endless passion he brought to his nonprofit art space, The Underground Museum. Noah passed away in 2015 at just 32, so I am lucky that I get to live with his generous spirit every day.

 

As well, I own two small portraits by Robert Therrien that he sent to me in the mail in tattered envelopes. I saw them in his studio and told him how much I loved them, so I was really moved by the gesture. As well, just before his death this year after a long illness, he gifted my daughter one of his iconic snowmen sculptures, which our entire family will treasure forever.

 

Q.

What do you want to collect next?

A.

If I ever stumble onto a goldmine, I would love to own one of Bill Traylor’s drawings.

 

Q.

For new collectors, do you have any advice you wish to impart? Do you have a collecting ethos or philosophy that you want to share?

 

A.

Do not buy with your ears - buy with your eyes and your gut. While acquiring art can be a smart investment, collecting for financial gain is missing the point entirely.

 

Q.

Who are your all-time favorite artists?

A.

The list could go on and on and on (no favorites, really), but some staples for me are Agnes Martin, Bill Traylor, Greg Colson, Joan Miró, Louise Bourgeois, Robert Therrien, Sam Francis and of course, my father, Ed Ruscha. And I think Noah Davis was a tremendous talent.

 

Q.

What's your relationship to emerging art? Are there any specific artists you're watching right now?

A.

I’m wary of market trends, overwhelming art fairs and the inordinate amount of people becoming fine artists, but I will always be passionate about supporting my peers because, after all, we are the future. It’s been fun to see my friend Christina Quarles’ career blossom. She is really so talented and deserves every accolade. I also really enjoyed Alex Becerra’s current show at Karma International.

 

Q.

Favorite museum or space for inspiration?

A.

Nothing quite compares to The Underground Museum, especially when Noah was alive and it was bubbling with his infectious spirit. The Museum of Jurassic Technology never fails to be a fun visit. But lately I have been really into The Huntington Gardens and Descanso Gardens - I crave nature.


If you would like assistance to growing your own art collection, our expert advisory team is here to help. Reach out to them for a personal consultation here

 

About

We offer our collectors the opportunity to discover new artistic talent through our unique E-Commerce platform.

 

Learn More

Explore

Tappan provides access, participation and support in contemporary art to a new generation of art patrons.

 

Explore All Collector Profiles