Jean Pigozzi, Naomi Campbell with Mick and Bono (the dogs), 1993, 1993, archival pigment print, 11 × 14 inches framed (27.9 × 35.6 cm) © Jean Pigozzi
Jean Pigozzi picked up a Leica camera as an adolescent and began formulating a diaristic style that revolved around his observations of upper–class life. While attending Harvard University, he made regular sojourns to New York City where he mingled with artists and tastemakers, taking photographs in close proximity. His “sophisticated snapshots,” significantly influenced by Robert Frank and Helmut Newton, are candid and intimate: friends including Andy Warhol, Anjelica Huston, and Diane von Furstenberg, among others, are captured in scenes of social revelry or voluptuous leisure. Pigozzi often appears in his own photographs, affirming the role of the camera as a tool for his keen engagement with the world.
Jean “Johnny” Pigozzi was born in 1952 in Paris, France. He received his B.A. in 1974 from Harvard University, Massachusetts. Pigozzi’s work has been exhibited in several solo exhibitions including Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris (1974); Les Rencontres D’Arles Photographie, France (2010); “Johnny Stop!,” The Moscow House of Photography, Moscow (2011); and “My World, Jean Pigozzi,” Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing (2014). Recent group exhibitions include “Pigozzi and the Paparazzi,” Helmut Newton Foundation, Berlin (2008); and “An Ear for Music, An Eye for Art: The Ahmet Ertegun Collection,” The Baker Museum, Florida (2013). Pigozzi’s most recent body of work entitled, “Johnny’s Pool,” will be on view at Gagosian Gallery, New York, from April 12th to May 28th 2016.
Pigozzi is also an avid contemporary art collector: he founded the largest collection of contemporary African art in 1989, known as the Contemporary African Art Collection (CAAC—The Pigozzi Collection), and spearheaded the Japigozzi Collection of contemporary Japanese art in 2006. Works from Pigozzi's collections have been exhibited at institutions including The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (2005); National Museum of African Art, Washington, D.C. (2005–06); The Guggenheim Bilbao, Spain (2006–07); Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, Moscow (2011); CNAC–Le Magasin, Grenoble, France (2011); and Foundation Cartier, Paris (2015–16), among others.
Pigozzi currently lives and works between New York, London, Paris, and Antibes, France.