By Leanna Garfield

Leanna Garfield/Business Insider

Mr. Grey holds a piece called “Honeybear #1” by Kurt B.

Mr. Grey — no, not the one from “50 Shades” — curates an art collection with pieces so expensive that few people can afford them.

The 21-year-old independent curator, who prefers to keep his anonymity, works with artists who have carved out a new niche in Manhattan’s art scene: high-end glass pipes and bongs.

It’s a market that’s blowing up, he says, thanks to the growing legalization of marijuana across the country. In the past three years alone, nine states have legalized cannabis for recreational or medicinal use, bringing the total to 28 states plus Washington, DC that have decriminalized the drug.

Grey tells Business Insider that the new laws are encouraging artists trained in glassblowing, to experiment with cannabis glass design and create extravagant works of art.

He recently showcased 30 pieces in his two-story apartment in New York City. We got an inside look at the items in the curated collection, which cost up to $300,000.

Keep scrolling to take a look.

Mr. Grey showcased the 30 pieces for family and friends inside his apartment in Soho.

They were created by artists from all over the world.

The pieces are not only handcrafted and stunning, like Unparalleled Glass’ $35,000 “Cactus Set” …

… they’re functional, too.

The items push the boundaries of glass-blowing.

When you look at some works, like “Starry Night Katana” by Zach Jorgenson, you might not immediately recognize they’re for smoking.

These look like mere sculptures of a donut and soda cup.

The most intricate pieces sell for a lot of money. Banjo & Joe Peters’ “Sedna” is priced at $300,000.

“Jungle Gun” by Robert Mickelsen and Calvin Mickle, costs $60,000.

And “Hayabusa Satellite” by Sagan Glass is priced nearly twice that at $110,000.

They cost tens of thousands of dollars because there is a demand for high-end pieces, and only a select number of artists make them, Grey says.

Many items are rare. Artist Kurt B. — who doesn’t even smoke — only made 100 “Honeybears” (pictured below), before he destroyed the mold. It’s the only piece in Grey’s collection that’s not for sale.

He anticipates an even bigger market for high-end cannabis glass art in the future.

Since Grey started his collection four years ago, he has seen the price people are willing to pay for these works skyrocket.

Pieces weren’t selling for more than $5,000 a few years ago, and now is is able to sell them for much more. “Fire and Eyes” by Scott Deppe and Jason Lee, for example, is going for $75,000.

The people interested in buying pieces from the collection are generally between the ages of 21 and 40 and skew male.

In the future, Grey hopes to target an older demographic that see the pieces as serious investments.

“I’m not selling bongs — I’m selling works of art, and art collectors should start coming down and seeing this work, because, at the end of the day, this is an investment,” he says.

Even though recreational marijuana is illegal in New York City, Grey is showing the pieces there — rather than Colorado or Oregon — because Manhattan is a global art mecca. “The art world is here,” he says.

Read more stories on Business Insider, Malaysian edition of the world’s fastest-growing business and technology news website.

Source:: Business By Insider