Dubbed “the Mick Jagger of art auctioneers,” Bravo fans will remember Simon de Pury as the mentor who continually showed that a suit doesn’t make one a square on its art competition, “Work of Art.” The network recently announced that the show will be coming back for a second season and Simon has already been on the road meeting more than a thousand prospective contestants.
During Zap2it’s week with Bravo in New York City, we had the opportunity to meet up with Simon at his new uptown headquarters for his art auction house, Philips de Pury & Company, and we were constantly surprised by what we learned of the man with the slick accent.
For example, viewers may not know that Simon is a world-renowned photographer in his own right. “I always take a camera with me wherever I go,” he says. “I had an exhibition in Berlin. I have one opening in Moscow soon, then in Paris in January. So, it’s a nice occupational aside that I enjoy very much.”
Obviously the art world isn’t doing too badly in this rocky economy. Simon’s auction house just sold an Andy Warhol for $63.3 million, but guess who else’s art sold for a larger than expected sum recently? Season 1 winner, Abdi Farah had a piece that sold at Simon’s auction house for about $20,000.
Quite possibly the one detail that we learned about Simon that really made our hearts skip a beat was when he told us that’s he’s a deejay! It came up when we asked him how he feels about the pop art that is Lady Gaga.
“I became a deejay late in life, but I love music,” he tells us. “I’m as obsessed about music as I am about art. So, I started as a joke to deejay and now I have all these deejay assignments. And I get a huge kick out of it.”
By the way, he thinks Lady Gaga is “the cultural icon of our times.” Oh, Simon, you never cease to amaze us.
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Video credit: Jethro Nededog, Zap2it