Book Reviews

Art Can Kill by Bryan Cooke

I am reading your book "Art Can Kill" and I LOVE IT!!!!  I really don't know how you made it out alive?
Desiree Manville
Taos, New Mexico
Bryan Cooke, Talented Art Expert, Chosen One of L.A.’s Most Fascinating People for 2022.
Boundless Media Inc.
New York, New York
The art moving business comes with free season tickets to the theater of the absurd.
Lia Skidmore Gallery
Santa Monica California
I worked for you in the summer of 1978.  You had a storefront on Pico Blvd. Ralph Goings and another guy I forget his name and you.  I had just moved from London to head the sculpture program at Otis and prop 13 had just passed and it wasn’t looking good for Otis. I’m not sure how I met you but I think you moved a sculpture of mine to LACMA. Anyway I enjoyed building crates and I remember helping to install a cumbersome Stella in a dinning room with a big Kelly on the wall and we were terrified of brushing against with the sharp aluminum pieces of the Stella as we assembled it.  I have fond memories of working with you that summer. I was reminded of that time cause I just read your wonderful Book , “Art Can Kill.”  I totally enjoyed it and appreciate your unique point of view.  I remember a little story that fit your theme, it was a job to move a big sculpture maybe a Moore up a steep hill to another location.  The sculpture was too big to move safely by the three of us and we returned to the shop. The client phoned to give you a hard time and told “of course you couldn’t move it with that midget you bought. That midget was me. Congratulations on the book and I hope we get to work together in the future.
Los Angeles, California
I so enjoyed every word of your book. I was a Registrar for the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco from 1978-1991. I organized the return of the Dresden collection and remember subcontracting with you to ship crates out of L.A. Your book is fascinating and so well written. I will widely share it. You have taken be back in time to my early days in the museum profession. Congratulations and I am waiting for your second book!
Paula M.
San Francisco, California
I enjoyed reading your book and you sharing your expierences. It certainly triggered memories of my own hauling art cross country for DAD, FAE and other museum experiences. I remember the Black Truck saga well having crossed paths with them a few times. It is good to see the tide changing for Arthandlers who have been powerless  for many years, always being asked to do more with less, no wonder museum workers are unionizing in record numbers. I gotta say the title “Art Can Kill” Is kinda like saying Guns Kill. Congratulations!
Boston, Massachusetts
I absolutely loved it!  A real page turner!  One of my favorite lines (of many): “The art moving business comes with free season tickets to the theater of the absurd.  
Lia Skidmore
Santa Monica California
Bryan is a superb writer. His storytelling talent is awesome! If you enjoy art and would like to know what really goes on behind the scenes of the art world, you will love this book!
Larry Bell
Thanks for sharing all the “art moving” stories. Funny how the dozen roses worked out! The book is a good read and I would highly recommend it to a friend.
Nicholas D.
Queens, New York
I am thoroughly enjoying reading your book! I'm just in the first chapter but had to write to say how exciting it is and that you write so well, it's just like being there!!! What a TREAT!!
Thomas J. Podnar
Conservator of Sculpture & Historic Fountains
Art Can Kill offers a window into the lives of celebrities and contemporary art figures, including stories of Larry Gagosian, Larry Flynt, Dr. Armand Hammer, Joan Rivers, Norton Simon, Frank Gehry, and many more. As an art handler who moves million-dollar works for a living, the author is often mistaken as “just a delivery boy,” giving him an unfiltered peek into some of the strangest and darkest corners of the art world. From vain movie stars and eccentric artists to forgers and scammers, this book exposes a subculture far more provocative and corrupt than most realize. Reader beware: you will never see a Dali, watch a Disney animation, or view certain renowned gallery owners, artists, and celebrities the same way again.
Suzanne Coner
Book Editor and Critic
A must read for all museum professionals especially collections managers and registrars.
Susan Lucke
I also just finished your book a few weeks ago and I loved it! What a fascinating and crazy life you have had working in this industry. It was a great read, and really highlighted the challenges, AND insanity that can ensue when it comes to the crazy world of art! Thank you for documenting these stories and sharing them with the world!
Camilla Carlsson
Space Planning Analyst