Showing for the first time in China, Jean Pigozzi is usually introduced as the photographer of the jet set. Heir to a European car empire, he has suf¬fered dyslexia from a young age. Instead of writing a diary, he started taking photographs of his daily life as a teenager, a visual journal of high society since the 1960s. His photographic oeuvre consists of four decades compiling portraits of celebrities like Mick Jagger, Andy Warhol, Jack Nicholson, Halle Berry, Natalie Portman, and Kate Moss, along with luminaries like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Hen¬ry Kissinger.
Navigating life with a camera around his neck, Pigozzi twists the typical relationship between celebrities and paparazzi by picturing himself among his famous subjects. At once an insider and outsider, a trusted friend and a fan, his photos reflect moments of intimacy in the lives of the rich and famous. They provide ac¬cess to a world that is usually hidden from sight: Cannes Film Festival and Oscar parties, yacht trips, private dinners, wed¬dings, and backstage scenes at Rolling Stones concerts.
Always shot in a black-and-white, fly-on-the-wall style that is at once humorous and iconic, Jean Pigozzi’s photos comprise a diary of his life and times as well as a cultural archive of forty years among the Western glitterati. Curated by Alexi Tan, “Jean Pigozzi—My World” gives audiences the opportunity to enter the world of Jean Pigozzi through 250 photos, including an exclusive set of pictures from the 2014 Oscars.
The exhibition is presented by exclusive media partner GQ China, the international premium men’s magazine, and generously supported by Audi, ThinkPad, and Moët & Chandon.
Before his return to China as a film director, Alexi Tan was a photographer in New York, where he shot many portraits of Hollywood celebrities for major fashion magazines. By introducing Jean Pigozzi’s photographic work to China today, Tan is nodding to his own past as a photographer. His selection also includes photos of Chinese stars and celebrities.
Jean Pigozzi was born in Paris in 1952. He is an Italian businessman who graduated from Harvard in 1974, where he studied film and photography. He now lives between Switzerland, New York, the French Riviera, and his private hideout in Panama.
Pigozzi started taking photographs at twelve years old, and he has never stopped since. His first exhibition took place at the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris in 1974, followed by several shows in Europe, Russia, and the United States. Both the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Centre Pompidou, Paris have acquired Pigozzi’s photographs for their permanent collections.
In 1989, he started what has become the world’s larg¬est and most famous private collection of contemporary African Art. The collection is regularly featured in major museums and art spaces around the world. In 1996, Pigozzi started buying land in Panama, mainly for conservation. There he founded the Liquid Jungle Lab, which brings together conservation and high technology. In 2007, Pig¬ozzi started a collection of contemporary Japanese art, primarily made up of younger artists. In 2008, he founded the high-end fashion company LimoLand.