Michael Shnayerson U.S.
- Contributing editor for Vanity Fair magazine
- Expert on Contemporary Art Market
- Acclaimed author of "BOOM: Mad Money, Mega Dealers, and the Rise of Contemporary Art"
Michael Shnayerson is a long-time Vanity Fair staff writer and the author of eight non-fiction books on a wide range of subjects. Some of his books are on environmental topics – “Coal River,” for example, about the dreadful practice of mountaintop coal removal — while others are biographies of public figures: singer and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte, for one, New York governor Andrew Cuomo for another. All are the works of a compelling storyteller, but his latest marks a new direction and has brought him a new, enthusiastic audience. Its title: “BOOM: Mad Money, Mega Dealers, and the Rise of Contemporary Art” (Public Affairs)
Contemporary art is a sprawling subject – too big for any book – so Shnayerson narrowed his focus, chiefly to the dealers who’ve pumped up this market from the post-war days of Abstract Expressionism (with artists like Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning) to the art of today, art defined less by any title than by its price tag and whether it sells, hopefully for more next year; the age of art as an asset class.
Shnayerson has been called a “demystifier,’ and that is, indeed, what he’s sought to do with the contemporary art market: to tell the story of how this complex market came to be, in fun, fast prose that reads not like an academic tome but a fun, fast, book-length Vanity Fair piece.