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PORTFOLIO

02.08.2017

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On the occasion of the release of his book Pool Party, Jean “Johnny” Pigozzi was interviewed by Ralf Hanselle, where he explained his views on the mechanisms of the art market. The rest of the interview can be found in LFI 6/2017, which appears on August 11.

“The main photographer in my collection is Seydou Keïta from Mali. He was a portrait-photographer who took pictures in the 1950s and 60s. I’m not very interested in collecting photography. I have a big collection of Weegee. But I’m not a specialist. I don’t know much about prints or vintage images.

Photography is a medium that can be reproduced many, many times. So people like Henry Cartier-Bresson never put numbers on their photographs. And I think even Robert Frank didn’t edit his images. That’s the reason why I found it very difficult to number my own images. It is like the Rolling Stones. They never sell just one record; they sell millions. And even Spielberg wants millions of people to see his movies – not just one person. I think photography is a medium that should be very democratic. That’s what I like about the medium.

For myself I put numbers on the back of my photographs, because people expect me to do so. But if I didn’t have to do it, I wouldn’t. But people pay 5000 dollars or even more. They want something unique. That’s okay. But I don’t think it’s right.”

The exhibition, Jean Pigozzi – Pool Party, will be on display at the Helmut Newton Foundation in Berlin until November 19, 2017.
Jebenstraße 2, 10623 Berlin
www.helmut-newton.com

An exhibition of works from Pigozzi’s collection of contemporary African art is on display at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris, up until September 4, 2017. www.fondationlouisvuitton.fr

There is more material to see in LFI 6/2017.
Helmut Newton and Mick Jagger 1990
Sharon Stone and Mimi Craven 1992
The Edge, Michael Hutchence, Bono 1994
Michael Douglas and Johnny Pigozzi 2013
Seydou Keïta, Untitled, 1950s, courtesy of CAACART

Jean „Johnny“ Pigozzi

Born in 1952, Johnny was the son of the French-Italian car manufacturer, Henri Pigozzi. An entrepreneur, philanthropist and art collector, he lives in Paris, New York and Panama. The former film producer and friend of many celebrities, turned to photography in 1972. Working mostly in black and white, Pigozzi captured his surroundings and prominent circle of friends in pictures that he then presented in exhibitions and photo books.
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