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Adventures in the Art Trade
In the glamorous and secretive world of art, Simon de Pury is the ultimate insider. Having elevated the auction into performance art, he is the most famous of all auctioneers. He has been chairman of the global auction house Phillips de Pury, challenging the duopoly of Sotheby's and Christie's. Before that, he was director of the Thyssen Collection, one of the world's greatest private art collections, then the chairman of Sotheby's Europe. For his style, his longevity and his unprecedented success as an auctioneer Simon has been called the Mick Jagger of the art world, but he is also a major collector and dealer in his own right, and a consultant to heads of state and heads of corporations.
The Auctioneer gives us a brilliant behind-the-scenes look at the multi-billion-pound international art dealing world - where on a single night a major auction can rack up sales totalling more than GBP100 million; artists rub shoulders with some of the wealthiest and most powerful people on the planet; and sometimes the buyer really should beware.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
His professional connections and friendships with the rich and famous collectors are extensive and fascinating. In The Auctioneer he affords us colourful, glittering glimpses into lives lived at a grand and opulent level, drawing us into the extraordinary, often fickle world of art in all its facets. This book fairly crackles with excitement and energy. * Readers Digest * The world's most celebrated auctioneer. * Harper's Bazaar about Simon de Pury * He has the energy and power of an Enzo Ferrari, the elegance of a Maserati. -- Lap Elkann about Simon de Pury The Mick Jagger of auctioneers. * Guardian about Simon de Pury * Simon de Pury is an aristocrat in the best sense of the word. His mission? is to bring beauty to the people. This book is a wild ride that will get you hooked on art. -- Russell Simmons Simon's boundless energy is unparalleled. He transforms the auction house from a marketplace to a rock arena. -- Sarah Jessica Parker Rarely do we find experts capable of covering as many fields of expertise as Simon de Pury. A visionary, he has a taste for risk supported by a remarkable understanding of the market for private, public and digital art. His charm combines with his enthusiasm to create a personality that no buyer can resist. -- Diana Widmaier Picasso, art historian Eye-opening memoir... lively account of his flashy career and today's soaring art market, revealing a jet-setting, powerful, and private club of elites who buy, sell, and collect the world's most expensive art... the book provides an interesting glimpse into a world of artists, collectors, and dealers in which 'the call of the gavel was the call of the wild'. * Publishers Weekly * A memoir full of gossip, anecdotes, and tales of the very, very rich... De Pury engages in unabashed name-dropping and delivers plenty of juicy tidbits about some of the world's 1 percent. However, this is also the story of a man wholly dedicated to his profession, a jet-setter before the jet age... it's an enjoyable book that lets us live vicariously in the haut monde. * Kirkus Review * The number of ways of describing the auctioneer, curator, dealer, DJ, reality TV star and jet-setter Simon de Pury is almost endless: the Mick Jagger of art auctions, or "the man with the golden gavel", according to a BBC documentary. A close acquaintance describes him as "Peter Pan" - venturesome, mercurial, ever-youthful. * Financial Times * Auctioneer Simon de Pury's memoir reveals a life of poetic extravagance. It's schizophrenic, poetic, exquisitely rendered, farcical, and obscene... This memoir is as snappy and swaggering as the prestissimo speech acts the author is world famous for performing with gavel in hand. * ArtNet News * The Auctioneer dishes about the tycoons, rock stars and royalty who play in this high-priced game. Simon de Pury is an art world insider who has been called the "Mick Jagger" of auctions...de Pury is known for bringing the rush of a sports event to the auction room. He's a theatrical, sophisticated salesman. * NPR * Gloriously indiscreet (his book begins with a high-speed tour of his complicated relationships), this is a wickedly entertaining account of a milieu ripe in gossip and glamour. * Daily Mail *