Top power mongers in L.A. art scene

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Here’s a surprise: Art collector and financier Eli Broad wields the most clout in Los Angeles’ art scene, according to ArtReview’s 2008 list of the art world’s 100 most powerful people. Broad, who bankrolled the Broad Contemporary Art Museum at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and whose name is on other cultural and educational facilities around town, is 10th on the list. That puts him several notches below the top-rated Science, the company run by British artist Damien Hirst, whose work Broad collects, but well above the seven other Los Angeles power mongers anointed by the magazine.

Michael Govan, director of LACMA, ranks 21st, followed by Ann Philbin, director of the Hammer Museum, in 39th place, and Paul Schimmel, chief curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, right behind Philbin in 40th place. Artists Mike Kelley, Paul McCarthy and John Baldessari rank 61st, 62nd and 88th, respectively. Shaun Caley Regen, owner of Regen Projects gallery in West Hollywood, is in 85th place.


Who says? The magazine reports that its staff ‘in consultation with a global network of contributing editors and an invited international panel’ judged the candidates on ‘genuine influence over the production of art, international weighting, art-market relevance and their contribution to the art world over the past 12 months.’ Whatever that means.

-- Suzanne Muchnic