Tuesday 15 December 2015

Interview with Simon de Pury

Interview: Simon de Pury

As art dealers go, Simon de Pury (born 1951) is pretty much up there in terms of celebrity. A Swiss baron, he has been called “the Mick Jagger of auctioneers” and “the Jeffrey Deitch of the auction world” and has earned a reputation for making salesrooms around the world buzz with excitement and wild bidding. Highlights of his 40-year career must certainly include the heady six-and-a-half minutes at Sotheby’s in 1995 when he sold Picasso’s The Absinthe Drinker, from the artist’s blue period, to the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation for a phenomenal $29.1million – massively thrashing the estimated $12 million. In 2006, in the midst of the noughties’ boom, he then raked in $40 million in just one afternoon. De Pury describes himself as “a significant tastemaker for the secondary market of contemporary art, design and photography”. He also mentions organising, for Sotheby’s, the first international auction to take place in Moscow since the October Revolution and the “groundbreaking” exchanges between the top museums of the Soviet Union and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection that he engendered as achievements of which he is particularly proud.

Read the whole interview in issue one of Platea magazine

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