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#325 Larry Gagosian (Billionaire Art Dealer)
October 29th, 2023 | E325

What I learned from reading How Larry Gagosian Reshaped The Art World by Patrick Radden Keefe. 


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(4:00) The dealer has been so successful selling art to masters of the universe that he has become one of them.

(5:45) We think of genius as being complicated, but geniuses have the fewest moving parts. Gagosian is simple. He's basically a shark, a feeding machine.

(6:00) A novice is easily spotted because they do too much. Too many ingredients, too many movements. Too much explanation. A master uses the fewest motions required to fulfill their intention.

(10:00) His own publicist described him as “A Real Killer”

(12:00) The Invisible Billionaire: Daniel Ludwig by Jerry Shields. (Founders #292)

(17:30) There is always a blueprint. Joseph Duveen was the art dealer to the Robber Barons. 

Biographies of Duveen:

Duveen: A Life in Art 

Secrets Of An Art Dealer 


The Artful Partners: The Secret Association of Bernard Berenson and Joseph Duveen 

(18:00) Numerous friends of Gagosian caution me not to mistake this merry-go-round of parties and galas and super yacht cruises for a life of leisure. This guy is always working. This motherfucker works 24/7. The parties are marketing showcases in disguise.

(19:00) The Taste of Luxury: Bernard Arnault and the Moet-Hennessy Louis Vuitton Story by Nadege Forestier and Nazanine Ravai. (Founders #296)

(19:30) The best way to raise the price of something is to say that you would never sell it.

(23:00) If Gagosian possesses one secret weapon that has equipped him for success it might be his disinhibition.

(33:00) The niche Gagosian pursued was seen —at the time —as low status. The secondary business was perceived as a backwater by dealers. It was considered a bit distasteful.

(42:00) He disdains formal meetings. He finds bureaucracy and protocol dull. There is no hierarchy. There is Larry and then everyone else.

(44:00) Gagosian reaps huge profits from asymmetries of information.

(51:00) Art is just money on the walls.

(54:00) David Geffen is still as liquid as the day is long.

(56:00) The competitive drive of self-made billionaires does not go into remission once they’ve made their fortune.


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