Known for swimming with sharks, partying with celebrities and flogging rare art via Instagram, Loic Gouzer was just named Christie’s co-chairman of post-war and contemporary art in the Americas.
Gouzer got the art world’s attention after leading the way on several record-setting sales. For instance, “Looking Forward to the Past” brought in more than $700 million dollars, and set eight auction records, including the most expensive sculpture sold at auction: Giacometti’s “Pointing Man,” for a $141 dollars.
That auction earned him a promotion to deputy chairman of postwar and contemporary art and a profile in the New Yorker.
“Traditionally, employees at auction houses court collectors for years, waiting for them to divorce, run into debt, or die—the so-called “three ‘D’s.” Gouzer is less patient,” the New Yorker wrote. “He dislodges works from collections through dogged persuasion, sometimes with substantial guaranteed prices backed by Christie’s or by a third party. Promising a minimum price at auction can coax an owner into selling, but it leaves the auction house vulnerable. If the house guarantees a work and it fails to sell, the house is obliged to buy it, and then attempt to sell it privately.”
It seems nothing has changed in the two years since the auction that thrust Gouzer into one of the most powerful positions in art.
“Two years ago I did this sale called Looking Forward to the Past,” Gouzer wrote in an email to the Art Newspaper. “Now I can say that I look forward to the future of working with Alex Rotter, who is extremely talented, but also one of my best friends.”