The Wall Street Journal’s WSJ magazine has this compelling vignette from its story on the relationship between Lucian Freud and William Acquavella:
A friend told me Lucian Freud wanted to have lunch with me when I came to London. I told a few friends. They said, “Oh, he’s doing these male nudes now, he’s difficult, it’s going to be tough.” So I go to lunch, thinking, how am I going to get out of this? And he says, “Will you come back to the studio?” He starts pulling out these pictures of Leigh Bowery. They were unbelievable. So I bought them all and made a deal that I would represent him world-wide. He said fine, we shook hands and that was the end of it.
When I took him on, he said to me, “I’ve got a bookie—and I’ve got a bill with him.” I figured, let me talk to him, I’ll pay it. So I have dinner with him—Alfie McLean, one of the largest bookmakers in Northern Ireland—and I said, “Alfie, what does he owe you?” He says, “2.7 million pounds.” I said, “OK, thanks [laughing].” We had to work this out.
The Master and the Gallerist (Wall Street Journal)