Boom: Mad Money, Mega Dealers, and the Rise of Contemporary Art is a non-fiction book by Michael Shnayerson that explores the contemporary art market and the individuals who have shaped it into the booming industry it is today.
The book begins by tracing the history of contemporary art, from the Abstract Expressionism movement of the 1950s to the emergence of post-war art in the 1960s and beyond. Shnayerson discusses the key players in the early days of the art market, including gallery owners and art collectors who helped to build the market and elevate certain artists to the status of cultural icons.
As the book progresses, Shnayerson focuses on the individuals who have shaped the contemporary art market in recent years. He profiles a number of high-profile dealers, collectors, and artists, including Larry Gagosian, Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst, and others.
Shnayerson also delves into the inner workings of the art market, exploring how deals are made, how prices are set, and how works of art are bought and sold. He discusses the role of auction houses, art fairs, and private sales in driving the market, and provides insights into the motivations and strategies of the individuals who operate within it.
One of the key themes of the book is the impact of money on the contemporary art market. Shnayerson describes how the market has become increasingly driven by wealthy collectors and investors, who use art as a means of investing and preserving their wealth. He also explores the ways in which money has transformed the art world, from the astronomical prices paid for works of art to the rise of celebrity artists who have become brands in their own right.
Another theme of the book is the tension between the art market and the art world. Shnayerson explores the complex relationship between artists, dealers, and collectors, and the ways in which this relationship has evolved over time. He also examines the impact of the market on artistic expression, arguing that the rise of the market has led to a focus on commercial success over artistic innovation.
Boom: Mad Money, Mega Dealers, and the Rise of Contemporary Art is a fascinating and informative look at the contemporary art market and the individuals who have shaped it. Shnayerson’s writing is engaging and accessible, and he provides numerous examples and anecdotes to illustrate his points.
The book is also notable for its attention to detail and depth of research. Shnayerson has conducted extensive interviews with key players in the art world, and his insights into their motivations and strategies provide valuable insights into the workings of the market.
Overall, Boom: Mad Money, Mega Dealers, and the Rise of Contemporary Art is an essential read for anyone interested in the art world or the intersection of art and commerce. Shnayerson’s writing is both informative and engaging, and his insights into the market and its key players are illuminating. Whether you are a seasoned collector or simply a curious observer, this book is a must-read for anyone interested in the contemporary art world.