Jean Pigozzi, born in 1952, is a businessman, philanthropist, photographer, art collector, and heir to the Simca automobile brand. He studied at Harvard University before working for Gaumont Film Company and 20th Century Fox.
His Art collection, called Contemporary African Art Collection (CAAC – The Pigozzi Collection) is the largest in the world of this kind. It is based in Geneva.
The beginning of his collection
Jean has always been interested in Art, as his parents used to own a collection themselves, consisting of Renoir, Sisley, Boudin, Léger artworks for example. Jean’s mother used to take him to museums and Art galleries when he was young opening his eyes to the diversity of the world of art. Through time, he read a lot of art books, art magazines, and went to hundreds of museums, galleries, and exhibitions.
In 1989, Jean Pigozzi visited an exhibition in Paris, called “Earth’s Magicians” which deeply touched him. He realized, at that moment, the richness of contemporary African art, and promptly contacted the commissioner of the exhibition to inquire about developing a collection of his own.
Jean wanted to uncover this kind of art to Occidental countries, most of which have never had access to such artworks. As a child, Jean had always developed a longing for collecting, whether it be rocks or model trains, as an adult, his fixation switched to accumulating African art.
Pigozzi’s interest in Art is its beauty, as well as the fact that it is unprecedented, innovative, and capable of spreading a great strength. He is not one to speak about an artwork for hours.
The collection’s purpose