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Shhhhh, it’s a secret… well, 100 actually

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Nothing says 2017 in New York like being told by a blond German, in German, that the Moscow Mules at a Ludlow House event aren’t free. All the same, art world newbies packed the room on 26 January for the launch of 100 Secrets of the Art World, a book by Thomas Girst, the editor and head of cultural engagement for BMW, and Magnus Resch, introduced as “one of the world’s most controversial art economists”. The book actually just collects quotes from art world luminaries that promise to reveal said secrets, and the two were joined onstage by András Szántó, Lisa Schiff and Klaus Biesenbach, all of whom contributed to the publication. Perhaps the biggest secret, however, was one pointed out by Szántó: how insular and political the art world is. “I can’t say how many people I talked to,” he said, holding the book, “who said, ‘I thought I would be in the book’ or ‘I didn’t want to be in the book’. They were obsessed with who was in the 100.” Transparency, Schiff said, was where the art world is going next, but we’ll leave you with Larry Gagosian’s submission: “I read somewhere that one of the most important attributes of a successful art dealer is to be able to keep a secret.”