Jean Pigozzi, ME & CO / Pool Party @Immagis Art Photography, Munich

22 June – 4 August 2018

After the buzzing solo show by Olaf Heine, gallery IMMAGIS was back on June 21st with an even more intimate exhibition – this time by French/Italian photographer, investor, and art collector, Jean Pigozzi. With around 40 small-format, mostly black-and-white images, this show featured the best of Pigozzi’s famed series Pool Party as well as his latest series ME & CO, a cultural chronicle that the “unofficial creator of the selfie” started in 1974 and has been working on to this day.

It all began at a party at Harvard University in 1973, when Jean, son of Henri Pigozzi, founder of the Simca car company, took his first “double portrait” of Faye Dunaway. Casually approaching the young actress, the student reached out with his camera in hand, briefly asked permission, and in a click captured the image that launched a life-long passion project.

Back then, taking selfies was “kind of odd” and “different,” but soon it seemed that everyone who was anyone posed with this young photographer. Pigozzi studied at Harvard, was inspired by Robert Frank, and spent his free time in New York City at the parties of the rich and beautiful. Here he captured himself on film alongside actors such as Steve Martin, John Belushi, Julie Christie, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Sylvester Stallone, or musicians such as Art Garfunkel, Grace Jones, Rod Stewart, and Bono. Over the years, Pigozzi found selfie-subjects in art legends Andy Warhol and Ed Ruscha, power gallerist Larry Gagosian, provocative art personalities such as Ai Weiwei and Maurizio Cattelan, and many notable women, including Catherine Deneuve, Daphne Guinness, Lady Gaga, Sarah Jessica Parker, Elle Macpherson, and Cate Blanchett.