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Collector’s Birthdate: b. 1970
Joannou is the Greek chair of a group of privately held building and civil engineering companies. He is a member of the Guggenheim Museum and the New Museum of Contemporary Art and sits as a council member at the Museum of Modern Art and the Tate.
He is considered one of the world leaders in collecting contemporary European art and has also been closely-linked to American-born Jeff Koons collecting pieces from his 1985 “Equilibrium” series which inspired Joannou to begin collecting art, as well as the British pair of Tim Noble and Sue Webster. Notable works in his collection include Koon’s “Michael Jackson and Bubbles” as well as Chris Ofili’s “The Adoration of Captain Shit and the Legend of Black Stars”.
He is also the founder Athen’s privately-funded Deste Foundation which purchases and shows the work of promising young artists.
“Art can certainly be perceived as an economic investment, but also as a sound investment on a human level. For example, if you develop a collection and you then give people access to these works of art, whether by lending them to museums or showing them in your own exhibition space, this goes way beyond an investment of money. That’s how I like to do things.”
Lindemann, Adam. Collecting Contemporary: Los Angeles, Taschen GmbH 2006.
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