Leading artists come out in support of art publisher Gigi Giannuzzi
A benefit auction dedicated to the founder of Trolley Books will help raise funds for his cancer treatment
By Ermanno Rivetti. Web only
Published online: 19 September 2012
The London-based artists Mat Collishaw, of YBA fame, and Polly Morgan, have teamed up with artist Sarah Lucas’s Situations space at Sadie Coles gallery in London to organise a two-part auction in aid of Gigi Giannuzzi, the founder of Trolley Books, Trolley Gallery and TJ Boulting. Giannuzzi, 48, was recently diagnosed with cancer and is seeking alternative treatments in a private clinic near Munich.
The live auction, titled “Situation Gigi” and scheduled for 20 September at 7pm, will be hosted by Oliver Barker from Sotheby’s, while a silent auction will continue online until 30 September.
Many artists have rushed to donate work to help the charismatic Gigi. The Chapman brothers will make a portrait for the highest bidder, while artists such as Damien Hirst, Jannis Kounellis, Tracey Emin and Patti Smith have all donated works to raise funds for his treatment. Nan Goldin has donated a photograph of Giannuzzi, Gigi in the blue grotto with light, Capri, 1997, which is estimated between £11,184 and £12,427 and was included in the first book that Giannuzzi published independently in 1998—Nan Goldin’s Ten Years After: Naples 1986-96.
Giannuzzi founded the independent publishing house Trolley Books in 2001. It quickly developed a reputation for adventurous and eccentric projects and books, covering topics as varied as photojournalism, architecture and contemporary art. He has also collaborated with a number of Magnum photographers including Chien-Chi Chang, Paolo Pellegrin and the late Philip Jones Griffiths, all of whom have also donated works (the latter via his daughters). He previously worked from 1994 to 1997 for the art book publishers Umberto Allemandi, Turin, the parent publishing company of The Art Newspaper.
Polly Morgan, who first met Giannuzzi in New York, said that teaming up with Collishaw to help the publisher was the obvious thing to do when they heard of his illness. “The sheer amount of artists who were calling up the gallery and offering their own works is a testament to how popular Gigi is. He’s been a constant in many of our lives.”
His business partner Hannah Watson, who has been working with Giannuzzi since 2005, told us: “I am of course biased, but Gigi is totally unique—no one else would be so crazy as to dedicate themselves to the brave yet beautiful books that he makes. He is one of the artists.”
The 47 lots up for sale can be viewed online, and Morgan, Collishaw and many other artists will be present at the auction, serving drinks and spotting bids.
Situation Gigi: an Auction by Artists in Aid of Gigi Giannuzzi, Thursday, 20 September, 7pm, Sarah Lucas/Sadie Coles, 4 New Burlington Place, London W1S 2HS
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