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Larry Gagosian reminisces about the days Madonna was his driver

Alice Jones' Arts Diary

He’s long been thought of as the most powerful man in the art world but even in his early days Larry Gagosian attracted star quality.

Kim Gordon from Sonic Youth was his first framer as he set up his fledgling poster business. And when he started making his living as an art dealer, Madonna was his driver.

Talking to Interview magazine, he recalls the time that his artist-client Jean-Michel Basquiat came to live with him in LA and dragged his girlfriend along.

“He said, ‘Her name is Madonna and she’s going to be huge… So Madonna came out and stayed for a few months and we all got along like one big, happy family… I lost my license at one point and Madonna actually became our driver for a while."

"Madonna drove us around! But she was no joke. Even then you could see the discipline and focus and ambition. She’d go running every morning. She’d do yoga. She’d be on the phone with her people. You got the sense she was serious. I wouldn’t say that we’re really friends anymore, but whenever I see her, we have this nice history.”

He’s probably sold her a few paintings since then, too.

Speaking of exhibitionists, I mean exhibitions...

Amid the marvelling at how David Bowie managed to keep it so quiet that he was working on a new album, one wonders if the brains behind the V&A’s giant retrospective, David Bowie is…, were in on the secret.

Either way, it works out well for all concerned. The album will be released in March, just a fortnight before the show opens.

Also in the arts diary

Thomas Pynchon joins Bowie as the second returning recluse of the week

Art-loving hayfever sufferers beware! Major New York art gallery to be carpeted in pollen