Get ‘Art Smart’ – Read This Book!

Mad Money, Mega Dealers, and the Rise of Contemporary Art’ by Michael Shnayerson

Bean-spiller, culture vulture and eloquent art beat cognoscente Michael Shnayerson (he writes for Vanity Fair, etc.) recounts the rapacious, rascally and radical movers and shakers who spawned the contemporary art world vortex. In Boom: Mad Money, Mega Dealers, and the Rise of Contemporary Art (Public Affairs Press, 2019), the author tells us that Madonna used to be Basquiat’s chauffeur in exchange for a place to stay (they were also dating — duh!), Peggy Guggenheim was prickly and perpetually vexed in her role as a gallerist (she detested the American art market), and an epic power struggle unfolded in the late seventies and eighties between David Zwirner, Paula Cooper, Mary Boone and Larry Gagosian that led to today’s semi-oligopolistic art market structure.

The bangin’ book crackles with crazy stories and kooky personalities, showing that every dealer has his/her own (sometimes mad) approach when pitching, pricing and hyping art. Shnayerson dishes out all the dirty laundry, soa