New York Photo Review
NYPR Archives - 2010

More Mick and Keith and Friends!
Jean Pigozzi
Johnny STOP!
R. Wayne Parsons
Jean Pigozzi, “Keith Richards, 1981” 1981

Want to hang out with Mick and Keith? Then head over to Gagosian Gallery on Madison Avenue where the party is in full swing. Better hurry, though, or Keith may have finished that bottle of Rebel Yell by the time you get there.

I'm kidding, of course, as you won’t find the gang in the flesh, but rather in photographs taken by bon vivant Jean (Johnny) Pigozzi, auto fortune heir, businessman, art collector, photographer, philanthropist, and fellow partygoer of the glitterati.

This is a very large exhibition, with over 200 photos, all black-and-white. The photos are not labeled, so they function as sort of a celebrity IQ test–if you are inclined to try to figure out who’s who. The test isn't made easier by the fact that these images span almost 40 years, and Keith in 1981 didn’t look anything like he does now in the recent Louis Vuitton ad campaign. But I did find a good number of my very best non-friends: Salman, Henry, Roman, Yoko, Warren, Dennis, Sly, Mariah, etc.,etc., etc. – Mr. Pigozzi does get around!

It is apparent from the work on display that, in addition to a good time, Pigozzi likes dogs and busty women. He also enjoys getting on film the slightly racy side of life at the top –- nothing extreme, mind you, all in (reasonably) good fun: a woman in a toilet with her panties around her calves (just before or just after? we don’t know), or a woman's hand half way inside a man's open fly, or a man licking a woman's leg just above the knee.

In addition to the celebrity pix, the selection includes a few landscapes, seascapes, body-part photos, etc. But these images are waging an uphill battle against the much better work of so many contemporary masters and can hardly compete.

Basically paparazzi photos from an insider’s vantage point, they presumably offer a better view of the lifestyle of the rich and famous than photos from those confined to the other side of the velvet rope, and will appeal primarily to those who enjoy celebrity watching.

But if you are seriously interested in photography rather than celebrities there are much better resources to be had.

 by unidentified photographer.
Jean Pigozzi, “Larry Gagosian, Charles Saatchi and Leo Castelli, St. Barthelemy, 1991”.

Jean Pigozzi
Johnny STOP!

980 Madison Ave. 6th Fl
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212 744 2313

Sunday, November 7 to
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Hours: Tues-Sat, 10 to 6