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Parsing Gagosian: The Six Best Quotes From NYMag’s Epic Profile of the Art World’s Richest Dealer

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Larry Gagosian’s power might be waning (maybe), but the mystery surrounding the infamously press-shy dealer is as appealing as ever — particularly as he fights numerous of legal battles and faces almost a full stable of defecting artists. Eric Konigsburg published a lengthy, in-depth look into the life and career of the art world’s most dominant dealer in New York Magazine this weekend, which will appear in the January 28 print issue.

While much of the information about Gago’s career and recent trials has been published before (including a number of articles on ARTINFO), the piece has a number of choice quotes from a variety of collectors, dealers, auction house personnel, and friends of Gagosian — adding depth, and some intrigue, to the complex world of the contemporary art market. Without further ado, ARTINFO presents the six best quotes of the profile:

“I hate that Basquiat, you?” — Mugrabi to Gagosian, discussing joint purchases at a Sotheby’s auction

“But it’s insane that the market has gone down and I have to pay the same price because there is some stubborn guy? … That’s surrealist. He’s a surrealist.” — Also Mugrabi

“I have no intention of leaving Larry,” he says, and adds that the art-world preoccupation of talking about which artist shows with which gallery turns artists into “horses in their stalls.” — artist Richard Serra, after noting he will be showing with David Zwirner soon, along with Jeff Koons

“I do remember Henry [Geldzahler] saying, ‘You must eventually give this to a museum,’ but I sold it around 1984. I remember seeing it in the Sotheby’s catalogue a few years ago, and it bothers me that it’s not mine anymore, so I didn’t really want to know what happened to it.” — Diamond dealer John Reinhold, on a Warhol he once sold

“Larry and Richard Prince exploited the crap out of Richard’s market for several years, and it began to backfire” — an anonymous auction-house executive

“Damien told me, ‘I want to slow down, and therefore there’s no point in staying with Gagosian.’” James Kelly, Damien Hirst’s business manager, on Hirst leaving the gallery, apparently on good terms with the dealer

Shane Ferro

(Image via Billy Farrell/

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  1. by Tyler Taylor

    Call me naive, but I never would’ve expected those who’ve made their wealth showing and selling consequential art to ever support someone like Mitt Romney. I think it’s interesting that these artists have either severed or softened their relationships with Gagosian almost immediately following the publishing of his contributions to the Romney campaign. The dude can put on a great show, but that stuff makes me want to grab those saggy jowls with both hands and shake some sense into him.

  2. A poorly written piece!

  3. Tyler, beware your inner totalitarian.
    You should rather say that whilst you disagree with his political views you would give of your very life to defend his right to express them.
    Vive la difference.

  4. This list was put together like some catty high school newspaper article about the popular kid everyone secretly hates.

  5. I read the piece on the New York Magazine and really liked it, but I don’t understand how did the writer found those quotes? Are there proves backing them up? Does anyone knows? Thanks

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