When it comes to innovation in the field of art auctions, it’s true that the Christie’s rainmaker Loïc Gouzer is hardly alone. That august auction house, in fact, has an impressive track record of minting dynamos from Amy Cappellazzo (who left to found Art Agency Partners, now part of Sotheby’s) to Philippe Ségalot and Brett Gorvy, both of whom now sell art privately. But Gouzer certainly takes home the distinction, if one can call it that, of being the oddest fit among those ranks. An antsy character with a half-heartedly decorated office, he often gives the impression that he’d rather be doing something other than the workaday labor of powering the world’s number-one auction house—perhaps directing a movie, or playing soccer, or raising money to save the whales.
It so happens, with his record of bringing in eye-popping business, that Christie’s seems to encourage these flights of fancy—with the calculated bet that even a failure or a bout of hockey might lead, like the Prince of Serendip, to untold success. It’s nice work if you can get it, but some people already wonder how much longer the arrangement can last, including Gouzer himself. In the meantime, at least, he seems to be enjoying himself mightily.