Jean Pigozzi. Johnny's Pool

12 Apr 2016 – 28 May 2016


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Gagosian Gallery is pleased to present photographs by Jean “Johnny” Pigozzi, many of which are being shown for the first time from his personal archive.


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.

The famous “blue pool” at the Pigozzi family's Villa Dorane at Cap d'Antibes has seen actors, models, musicians, and photographers since it was built in 1953. Apart from being the locus of Pigozzi's numerous photographs, glamourous birthday parties and Vogue photoshoots have also been hosted there. Color and black-and-white photographs of celebrities including Bono, Mick and Bianca Jagger, Elizabeth Taylor, Naomi Campbell, David Geffen, Jack Nicholson, Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone, Elle Macpherson, Helmut Newton, and Julian Schnabel are brought to life with dramatic light and playful pool-toy props, celebrating the fun and whimsy of the boisterous glitterati.

A book of the same title, hosting more than 100 previously unpublished photographs from the Pigozzi pool and an introduction by Bono, will be published by Rizzoli New York to coincide with the exhibition.

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Exhibiting artists

Jean Pigozzi


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