Jean Pigozzi Pool Party in the Snow
Exhibition dates: February 19 - March 26, 2017
Galerie Gmurzynska is delighted to announce an extensive solo show of Jean Pigozzi’s photography to be presented for the first time in St. Moritz.
Jean “Johnny” Pigozzi took up his Leica already as a teenager before going to study in Harvard. He developed a distinctive and exclusive style, observing the festive everyday life around him. Being influenced by photographers such as Helmut Newton, Robert Frank or William Klein and befriended with pop-stars such as Andy Warhol or Mick Jagger, with whom he traveled the world extensively, Pigozzi established a very close and sincere way to portray his friends and companions. His photos are capturing the moment, when “the instant becomes eternal” as Bono writes in his foreword to Johnny Pigozzi’s Pool Party monograph.
Pigozzi’s catching and refined snapshots document the beau monde get-togethers around the notorious “blue pool”. The pool is an integral part of famed Villa Dorane designed by Ettore Sottsass and realized in 1953 at Cap d’Antibes, hosting since its inception the most important actors, models, entrepreneurs, musicians and photographers. This unique cultural happening bringing all different worlds together during the Cannes Film Festival is portrayed in such a natural way, that the viewer becomes part of the creative spirit surrounding this genre defining photography, predating arty nightlife shoots that followed after 2000 and are known from various lifestyle and fashion publications and blogs nowadays.
The exhibition will feature over thirty black and white photographs that were shot between the 1980s and the 1990s granting a rare glimpse into the world around the pool, picturing Sharon Stone, Elizabeth Taylor, Michael Douglas, Elle Macpherson, Naomi Campbell, Mick Jagger, Bono, David Geffen, Calvin Klein, Kristen McMenamy and Helmut Newton among many others.
Besides his artistic endeavors Johnny Pigozzi is also a significant collector. Most importantly he assembled the world largest collection of contemporary African Art. The collection is based in Geneva and has been presented in world-renowned institutions such as Tate Modern in London, Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco and at the National Museum of African Art in Washington D.C. More than that, the newly opened Fondation Louis Vuitton plans to realize a show of African Art featuring Pigozzi’s collection in the fall of 2017.
The overarching world of Johnny Pigozzi comprises also a fascination for technology, including friendships with late Steve Jobs, the beginning of a clothing line called “Limoland” in 2010, a conception of large body pillows with Alonzo and Crespo as well as the 2014 TV format “My friends call me Johnny”; and last but not least the recent collaboration with Juergen Teller and Dennis Freedman for “The Window” of Barneys New York in 2016.
Jean Pigozzi was born in Paris in 1952. He lives and works in between New York, London, Paris, and Antibes, France. His first solo exhibition was held at Musée d'art Moderne in Paris in 1974; solo exhibitions since then included in 2008 “Pigozzi and the Paparazzi,” Helmut Newton Foundation, Berlin; and in 2014 “My World, Jean Pigozzi” at the Ullens Center for Contempoary Art in Beijing.
In April and May 2016 the Pool Party show was exhibited at Gagosian Gallery, 976 Madison Avenue, New York. In the same year Rizzoli has published the monograph “Pool Party” and in 2010 Steidl published the “Catalog Déraisonné” about the photographic oeuvre of Jean Pigozzi.