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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

Carla Borel has donated the photograph Gigi, Art Car Boot Fair (est: £100-£200)

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

Boo Saville has donated Gigi’s Slippers, 2012 (est:£1,500-£2,500)
More from The Art Newspaper


3 Jan 13
4:14 CET


Thoughts and blessings to our dearest departed Gigi Giannuzzi, truly a legend in his own lifetime, a one off unique maverick whose energy, creativity and lovely madness were a constant inspiration for all fortunate enough to come into his orbit. Rest in peace compadre. Only the good die young xxxxx

20 Sep 12
22:27 CET


there was only one catch and that was catch 22, which specified that a concern for one's own safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of rational mind. orr was crazy and could be grounded.all he had to do was ask, and as soon as he did, he would have to fly more missions. orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn't, but if he was sane he had to fly them. if he flew them he was crazy and didn't have to, but if he didn't want to he was and had to. gigi was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of the clause of catch 22, and let out a respectful whistle. let' hope a speedy recovery is made a.s.a.p. no author is a man of genius to his publisher.

20 Sep 12
15:30 CET


Good &worthy cause MBXX

20 Sep 12
18:33 CET


At sometime in your life it clicks that you can do something for people that have been mistreated and forgotten virtually by the rest of humanity it just clicked alot earlier with gigi.a little girl in a market begged me to buy her small bottles of penuts and said you dont have to buy them just tell me you will come tommorow to buy them! And thats what his books give people its the hope that tommorow will be better in a beautiful 2012 renaissance way ,so dont just look at the art given by friends consider what he has achived in his books that we need another life and charecter to do

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