The chairman and chief auctioneer of the leading global auction of its topic, Phillips de Pury & Company auction house, Baron Simon de Pury, born in Basel in 1951, is not only renowned for his endless knowledge of contemporary art, design and photography, but also for his charming wit and style when commanding the podium. Always decked out in a double-breasted bespoke suit and silk ties, de Pury can sell art in four languages: English, French, German and Italian. As a teenager, he wanted to be an artist himself, having studied Japanese painting techniques at the Academy of Fine Arts in Tokyo in the 1970s, but now de Pury is happy to turn his favorite artists into successful and rich art stars. For example, he’s taken Richard Prince’s work from about $50,000 to about $10 million a pop. Plus, Prince has had a retrospective at the Guggenheim. Early in his career, De Pury joined the job forces of Bern auctioneers and Kornfeld and Klipstein and studied at Sotheby’s Institute. Then, after working for Sotheby’s London, Geneva and Monet Carlo, De Pury went on to curate the historic Thyssen-Bornemisza collection in Lugano. Returning to Sotheby’s as Chairmen of Sotheby’s Switerland and, later, Chairmen of Sotheby’s Europe, de Pury used his sharp business acumen to become the company’s Principal Auctioneer. The savvy businessman conducted all of the company’s major sales in Europe, among them being the Thurn and Taxis sale in Geneva and Regensburg, Margrave sales in Baden-Baden and all the major impressionist sales in New York. As co-founder with Daniella Luxembourg of de Pury and Luxembourg Art, de Pury specialized in the sale of Impressionist, Modern and Contempoary art, Jewelry, Photography and 20 and 21 Century Decorative Arts. The firm soon merged with Phillips Auctioneers to become Phillips. The new company was then relocated to the Meatpacking district in Chelsea. As an accomplished curator with a sharp eye for rising talent, de Pury recently succumbed to the siren call of reality TV, becoming the Tim Gunn of Bravo’s “Work of Art”, a battle between fledgling artists to become America’s next big art star.
Last week, hundreds of guests flocked to Espace in Hell’s Kitchen for a lavish holiday soiree hosted by The Moinian Group. A number of the real estate industry’s illustrious bigwigs were on scene, including Joseph Moinian — president and CEO of the renowned firm — and his brother, Morris Moinian, principal and founder of Fortuna Realty Group. SL
Born and raised in Paris, France, Vladamir Roitfeld is the son of former Paris Vogue editor-in-chief Carine Roitfeld and Christian Restoin of the now defunct Equipment clothing line. Living in the cultural epicenter of the world, surrounded by some of the great works in art, film and fashion, Vladamir and his sister Julia were immersed
Padma Lakshmi has had quite a year. The model, mother and Top Chef host has been traveling non stop, and only just returned to her East Village apartment from the Emmys in Los Angeles, where her hit show was nominated for three awards. Lakshmi won raves for her strapless tangerine fit-and-flare Monique Lhuillier gown. She