Emmanuel Perrotin’s 6 Best Quotes From ‘W’ Magazine

Emmanuel Perrotin on dressing up for Maurizio Cattelan and trying to make it in New York, among other topics.

Emmanuel Perrotin (dressed in a giant pink penis costume with bunny ears) participating in a 1995 exhibition by Maurizio Cattelan at the Perrotin gallery in Paris.
Emmanuel Perrotin (dressed in a giant pink penis costume with bunny ears) participating in a 1995 exhibition by Maurizio Cattelan at the Perrotin gallery in Paris. Photo: courtesy of Maurizio Cattelan’s Archive and Galerie Perrotin.

Parisian dealer Emmanuel Perrotin opened up to W magazine about launching the careers of Takashi Murakami and Damien Hirst, dressing up for Maurizio Cattelan, tax audits, and trying to make it in New York—where he recently opened a space. Here are six of the article’s most memorable quotes:

“There are a lot of dealers in Europe who just want to complain,” Perrotin says over a late breakfast in a café near his gallery in Paris’s Marais district. “I’m rather positive and energetic.”

“One of his choice looks from the time featured an oversize purple silk coat and a pearl necklace. People always wanted to beat me up when I changed trains on the way home,” he recalls.

When someone jokes about the possibility of inter-gallery cyber-espionage, Perrotin smiles and says, “Hmm, do you think Larry [Gagosian] has access to our software? Surely, there must be agreements between Larry and the NSA.”

But if there’s a lack of coherence to his stable, he insists it works to his advantage. “My program creates bridges between very different artists,” he says. “When a gallery’s artists are all a kind of ‘total look,’ they are all competing against each other.”

“I’ve always cared about the opinions of others,” he says. “I know it’s not very chic to admit it.”

“I know New York doesn’t need me.”


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