Zio Ziegler: The artist for tech's elite

Mural for Facebook
Source: Facebook

He's just 26-years-old, but Zio Ziegler is already being called one of tech's new favorite artists.

Ziegler creates more than 1,000 paintings and sketches a year (which he sells for up to $20,000), but he's perhaps best known for his 40 murals that decorate walls around San Francisco.

These are big, bold images, often of intricately designed black and white figures with a distinctive tribal feel.

It's tech's elite that are some of Ziegler's biggest fans. He's painted murals for Facebook, Google, Medium and Lyft, among others. Ziegler describes modern tech companies as the new patrons of the arts.

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"A lot of these companies, whether we like it or not, have the capacity to be the next Medicis," Ziegler told CNBC. "They can facilitate private museums and large scale public projects."

The respect is mutual. John Zimmer, Lyft's co-founder, told CNBC that he thinks of Ziegler as an "unparalleled artist and an inspiring entrepreneur."

Ziegler inherited that spirit of entrepreneurship from his parents, who are the founders of Banana Republic. And, like his mom and dad, Ziegler is enjoying a lot of commercial success.

Next year, for example, he's releasing a line of sneakers for Vans, which will feature his designs.

"There are so many audiences that, in order to become accessible as an artist, you need a multidimensional approach," Ziegler said. "So I'm interested in architecture, but I'm also interested in sneakers."

What's next for Ziegler?

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He's ending the year by illustrating the cover of Architectural Design, and painting one of his signature murals for an NRG Energy facility in San Francisco.

Ziegler predicts that San Francisco will be the capital of the art world within the next 10 years. If that's true then he could be one of its most celebrated homegrown talents.