Simon de Pury: Competing with Christies and Sotheby's
One of the art world's leading figures, Simon de Pury is renowned for his deep and long-standing knowledge of the global marketplace and his legendary auctioneering style. He generates excitement in the saleroom with a display of great wit and can conduct sales in four languages-English, French, German and Italian.
Born in Basel in 1951, Simon de Pury studied at The Academy of Fine Arts in Tokyo in the 1970s. After working at the auctioneers, Kornfeld & Klipstein in Bern and subsequently studying at Sotheby's Institute, Simon de Pury joined Sotheby's working in London, Geneva and Monte Carlo.
In 1997, Simon de Pury co-founded with Daniella Luxembourg, de Pury & Luxembourg Art, a Geneva-based art advisory firm. In 2001, this firm merged with Phillips Auctioneers to become Phillips, de Pury and Luxembourg which specialized in the sale of Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary art, Jewelry, Photography, and 20th and 21st Century Decorative Arts. In 2004, Simon de Pury became the majority shareholder and Chairman of Phillips de Pury & Company.
Simon de Pury:
We decided to really focus in some key areas, and in these areas being the best. And so we focused on contemporary art – particularly on contemporary art of the ‘80s, ‘90s and 21st century, but also on photography and design. These are three areas which overlap to a large degree. We have same collectors who buy in all of those categories. We also are active in the jewelry field. We sell contemporary jewelry. And by being a niche operator, and by really . . . Thanks to that great focus, and by doing the best catalogs in the field, the best exhibitions, having the best team of experts, we have just gone from strength to strength. And last year, you know, we’ve increased our turnover by 130 percent. And this year again we went after a very, very strong start. And so our goal is just to become the leading house for contemporary art and contemporary culture. Recorded on: 2/7/08
De Pury built a global brand by focusing on contemporary art and design.
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