Wednesday 07 February 1996
Born in the shadow of de Sade's chateau, Gallozzi was a flag-carrying anarchist schoolboy in Nantes, home town to such kindred spirits as Alfred Jarry and Jacques Vache. He moved to America in 1976 and after semi-clandestine activities in California relocated to Manhattan. Helping establish the groundbreaking night-club Pravda, Gallozzi was a central part of the late Seventies "scene", when New York really was New York.
Paradoxically, renowned for arcane European interests, Gallozzi became familiar with that most fashionable movement, "Graffiti". Setting up a loft where young black spraycan artists lived and worked in situ, he achieved celebrity and wealth, introducing them to the Basel Art Fair, creating a hip-hop spectacle for Valentino's 25th anniversary, taking his "Art Train" round America. Despite never owning a credit card Gallozzi maintained a series of anonymous accounts in Austrian banks, travelled in private jets and ran an art-smuggling ring through the Italian lakes.
Graffiti was short-lived, and after building collections for optimistic Belgian and Dutch magnates Gallozzi jumped swiftly, landing at a magnificent house on West Houston Street once owned by Barney Rossett, founder of Grove Press, where the likes of Samuel Beckett had stayed. By now Gallozzi was dealing "Aeropittura", Futurist plane paintings and British Neo-Romantics, not automatically lucrative areas. His connoisseur's approach to the byways of art history, the cultivation of neglected footnote figures, led Gallozzi's tastes to be described in the New Yorker as "old-fashioned, decidedly recherche".
Five years ago his inoperable brain tumour appeared. Left for dead at Bellevue hospital, surrounded by criminals, Gallozzi borrowed enough for a Concorde to Paris whereupon he was immediately arrested for avoiding military service. Released with diplomatic assistance Gallozzi was, seemingly, miraculously cured by a specialist to whom he dedicated his comeback Manhattan show, "Metamorphose". Later exhibitions ranged from Brion Gysin, the cult kif avantgardist, to Steven Sykes, an octogenarian English recluse who had never shown previously, but subsequently exhibited at the Redfern Gallery in London as a result.
Under financial pressure Gallozzi left his legendary townhouse, where in May 1995 he held a last benefit exhibition of 30 contemporary artists who donated work, including several portraits of himself, his playboy features having undergone interesting redefinition, slightly cross-eyed like Whistler's Robert de Montesquieu redone by Picasso. Gallozzi made one last grand tour of Italy, where he stayed every summer, often for months, with an extraordinary variety of collectors, artists, poets and aristocrats, one link in his chain of seemingly inexhaustible admirers.
The merest anecdotal elements of Gallozzi's presence justified this network of affection, from his 4pm lunches to cork-tipped Craven A cigarettes in the fridge, tailor-made Cifonelli suits and monogrammed Turnbull & Asser shirts. That they were other people's monograms added to the mystique, an extensive wardrobe of handmade hand-me-downs. Muffled in fur-collared coat, with bearskin hat and walking stick, he was easily mistaken for royalty in exile, Zog perhaps.
Of the mysterious, rich prose deployed in his catalogues he provided a final example:
Refusing galvanisation into the Cemetery of Uniforms and Liveries, Gallozzi is cutting the ropes and going to peer at farther shores, driven by survival instincts, calling, riding the bright wake ahead.
Guillaume Gallozzi, art dealer: born 11 February 1958; died Paris 25 December 1995.
- 1 Cara Delevigne addresses awkward interview on Good Day Sacramento
- 2 Top Gear team of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May officially heading to Amazon Prime for new car show
- 3 Stuart Baggs: Apprentice star 'The Brand' found dead aged 27
- 4 How to cancel Amazon Prime: after Top Gear hiring, how to leave premium service
- 5 MH370 debris: Investigators 'confident' that Boeing 777 wing found - live updates
Kate Winslet thanked 'particularly horrible' girl who bullied her at school after Titanic success
Cara Delevigne addresses awkward interview on Good Day Sacramento
Stuart Baggs: Apprentice star 'The Brand' found dead aged 27
MH370: Boeing 777 wing that could match missing plane found on the French island of Reunion
MH370 debris: Investigators 'confident' that Boeing 777 wing found - live updates
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn says 'we can learn a great deal from Karl Marx'
I am the Jeremy Corbyn supporter that many will tell you doesn't exist
Public anger after French sunbather beaten up by gang for wearing a bikini in Reims park
Labour leadership: New poll shows party is now even 'less electable' than under Ed Miliband
Calais crisis: For desperate migrants it is 'England or death' as they brave dogs, riot police and speeding trains
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company provides global satellite communi...
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: A rare and exciting opportunity for a Practice...
£20000 - £23000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: An exciting opportunity...
£150 - £180 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: A mainstream Secondary school in C...