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Art Business News
March 06
Daniel Crosby  

Q&A with Daniel Crosby

Meet Daniel Crosby, owner of the SPS Limelight Agency, the L.A.-based firm known for its representation of works by celebrity artists, as well as the works of artists depicting celebrities.

Q. Tell us how you got into this business. I was intrigued by the art business early on, and it’s the only business that I’ve ever really been in. The opportunity to spend time surrounded by great art and creative people and make a living at the same time seemed like a perfect combination.


Q. You have many famous clients. Which story is the most interesting? That’s difficult. There have been so many. I’ve been blessed by being able to spend my time with many people who are recognized as being the best at what they do. That, in and of itself, makes every day interesting. Two recent afternoons, though, do come to mind. First, Ronnie Wood and I spent and hour or so with Chuck Close as he installed his exhibition at San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art. Ronnie’s show was opening later that night and the day’s conversations were quite amazing. The other was a recent day at the office with Muhammad Ali and Stephen Holland. We’d all just gotten back from the opening of the Ali Center for Peace and Understanding and Muhammad had just seen the paintings that Stephen had created for it. Those two have known each other for so long and enjoy such a wonderful relationship that it was a pleasure to just sit and listen to the stories.

Q. Do you have any marketing or sales secrets that you would like to share with us? “Sales” and “marketing” are two words that I really don’t use. My partners and I have based our business on a simple approach; handle the best possible and have the most fun doing it. Also, we’re fortunate to only work with the people (artists, galleries, etc.) that feel the same way. With this philosophy, “sales” and “marketing” haven’t really played much of a role.

Q. What do you do to relax? Relax? What’s that?

Q. Who do you admire most and why? I admire anyone who’s got the right balance when it comes to work, family, friends and fun. Ali has it, as do most of the people that we work for. Jamie Wood, Ronnie’s son has it. Ronnie does, too.

Q. What’s the best thing about living in California? Definitely the weather.

Q. When and where were you happiest? Here and now. I’d go into more detail but I don’t want to jinx it.

Q. Where did you live growing up? Brooklyn, NY

Q. Name three people, living or dead, that you’d invite to dinner. I love old stories from the art business, so I’d have to have Barry Levine and Jack Solomon. Also Frank Bowles and Michael O’Mahony. All of these guys are true veterans of the business and have been great friends to me. They are a hell of a lot of fun and good storytellers, too.

Q. If you weren’t in this profession, what would you like to do or be? I’ve never considered it.

Q. What’s it like owning galleries at sports centers such as the Staples Arena and Dodger Stadium? Wonderful. There’s never a bad day at the ballpark.

Q. If anyone could paint your portrait, who would it be? As you can see from the photo, Stephen Holland!

Q. What piece of 20th century technology can’t you live without? The mobile phone and e-mail. Unfortunately, they seem to be able to live without me though, as I have a helluva time figuring out how to use them.

Q. Do you have a motto? I don’t know if we are going to make any money, but I know we’re going to have fun.

Q. What was the last book you read and movie that you saw? The last book I read was Off the Map: Tales of Endurance and Exploration, by Fergus Fleming. The last movie I saw was probably whatever is currently playing on United Airlines as that is typically where I do most of my movie viewing these days. Seriously though, it was “The Matador” with Pearce Brosnan and Greg Kinnear.

Q. What are you looking forward to in 2006? Basically, more of the same. To steal a quote from one of our clients, “Everything is Rockin.” I mean, Holland is enjoying phenomenal success, Opie (Otterstad) just won “Sports Artist of the Year,” our photographers are taking off, Grace Slick is showing really well, Ronnie (Wood) is on tour and his art is on fire, selling out everywhere, and we’ve got Sebastian Kruger and Paul Karalee coming on strong. . . . Life if good living in the Limelight! ABN

—Susanne Casgar ABN Editorial Director

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