The New Yorker profiles Loic Gouzer and gives us this delightful origin story for the auction house superhero:
In the summer of 2001, he began a road trip through Asia with a close friend, Guillaume Barazzone, who is now the mayor of Geneva. In China, Gouzer got to know a number of emerging artists, including Ai Weiwei and Fang Lijun. Gouzer recalls being a figure of interest because he had seen “Sensation,” the 1997 show in London that featured works by Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, and others classified as the Young British Artists. “That show was their bible,” Gouzer said of the Chinese artists. “All those guys wanted to meet me and hear me explain how this exhibition was.” […]
When Gouzer returned to Geneva, he organized a sale of Chinese works of art at a local gallery, encouraging family and friends to buy pieces. Gouzer told me, “My dad said, ‘Who do you think you are? We can’t just buy the first artist you like—this is a lot of money!’ ” A few years later, a painting that Gouzer had recommended came to auction and sold for eight million dollars. “I remember taking the catalogue and showing it to my parents and saying, ‘See, you should have bought the entire studio instead of yelling at me,’ ” he says.
Swimming with Sharks (The New Yorker)