David Zwirner’s Art Empire

Follow-up on Bouvier’s portrait, here’s David Zwirner’s :

By one-thirty, there was no sign of the American collector. Braka and Ortuzar huddled, and Ortuzar said, “I’m on it.” At one-fifty-two, the American appeared and resumed scrutinizing the painting. “Look at him sweating,” Zwirner whispered. After a while, he gave the collector a now-or-never gesture. The man borrowed a chair, sat down, and stared at the Richter for a while, chin in hand. Braka stood ten feet behind him. Soon the American got into what appeared to be a heated discussion with Schouwink. Ortuzar approached Braka, and Braka, with a pained smile, nodded and walked away. Zwirner joined the collector and Schouwink. He spoke emphatically to each of them, slapping the knuckles of one hand against the palm of the other. Everything is negotiable. At two-fourteen, the collector shook Zwirner’s hand and bent to kiss Schouwink’s. The Richter was his, and Zwirner had earned three hundred thousand dollars, enough to cover more than half the cost of the gallery’s booth in Basel.

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