Jean Pigozzi

French-ital­ian art col­lec­tor, pho­tog­ra­pher, phi­lan­thropist and bon vi­vant

Prestige Hong Kong - As Told: The Very Best In Life - - As Told: The Very Best In Life Contents -

I’m very in­volved with con­ser­va­tion. I own a lot of land in Panama, about 15,000 acres, which I am not de­vel­op­ing. I am try­ing to put in a foun­da­tion to pre­serve it so that it will stay un­de­vel­oped for­ever. It’s in­cred­i­bly beau­ti­ful and un­touched, no vil­lages, no noth­ing. I bought it over 20 years from more than 150 peo­ple.

I went to a din­ner party given by Chanel a few years ago in New York. Next to me, it was Kim Kar­dashian. So she had the chignon, you know, the hair? And she was hold­ing her mouth as if she had a piece of salad on it. But what she didn’t re­alise was that one of her boobs had jumped out of her dress. So I said, “Your teeth are fine, and your hair, but the... ”

My favourite mu­seum is the MOMA in New York be­cause, when I was a stu­dent at Har­vard, I would of­ten go there dur­ing the week­end. I saw some im­pres­sive shows there. There was a great show of Pi­casso, [and how] he was in­flu­enced by African art. We’re do­ing a show now, of [Con­golese sculp­tor] Bodys Isek Kin­gelez, and that’s the first time that there will be a solo show by a black African artist at the MOMA. So, it’s a very im­por­tant thing that’s hap­pen­ing there.

My great­est in­spi­ra­tion is Pi­casso be­cause he was in­cred­i­bly cre­ative, and also he changed his style ev­ery five or six years. In the same week, he would paint a paint­ing that looked like an im­pres­sion­ist paint­ing on a Mon­day, and then on Wed­nes­day, he would paint a cu­bist paint­ing. The guy was so ver­sa­tile, it was in­cred­i­ble. It was like there were five dif­fer­ent artists work­ing, but it was al­ways Pi­casso.

My favourite restau­rant is a restau­rant in Nice, in France. It’s called La Pe­tite Mai­son. They make in­cred­i­ble black truf­fle sand­wiches. The lady who runs the restau­rant is very tough. She will not give you two.

My favourite city is Los An­ge­les, I think. It’s an in­cred­i­ble mix of Bev­erly Hills and Kore­atown and Chi­na­town and the hills and Mal­ibu, and the hip­pies and all that. It’s such a spread-out city, but it has very in­ter­est­ing dif­fer­ent com­mu­ni­ties. I could never live in Norway or some­thing, where ev­ery­body is white, and ev­ery­body is very normal. I could never live in a place like that.

I’ve had a lot of dogs: one was called Mick for Mick Jag­ger, one called Jimmy for Jimmy Gold­smith. I al­ways name my dogs af­ter friends of mine. So, then I de­cided to do Charles Saatchi. I called [my two dogs] Charles and Saatchi. Three years ago, I started tak­ing pho­to­graphs of them. [In the in­tro­duc­tion to my book, Charles and Saatchi: The Dogs, avail­able in Ga­lerie Gmurzyn­ska], Saatchi wrote if he came back in an­other life he’d like to be one of my dogs.

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