You may have heard of him as the “Mick Jagger of auctions” due to his famously energetic performance on the podium. Simon de Pury, arguably one of the most well-known art auctioneers in the world, has just partnered with the Towers of the Waldorf Astoria New York to curate and commission a collection of artwork specially for the residence.

The Towers of the Waldorf Astoria New York — due to launch in 2022 — will feature the artwork of contemporary international artists such as Korean artist Minjung Kim and British-born sculptor Rowan Mersh, a move that will inject new life into the space while still preserving the original Art Deco design.

We chat with Simon to find out more about his style and inspiration.

When are you the most inspired?

Late at night.

What inspires you the most?

Beauty.

What’s one city you’ve always dreamed of travelling to?

Rio de Janeiro.

What’s your favourite time of day?

My favourite time is always right now!

What has been your biggest learning experience?

That you only discover who your real friends are when you face adversity.

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?

That I am the Mick Jagger of art auctions.

What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve done?

Surviving a fire on a large canoe on the Niger while surrounded by crocodiles.

How would you define yourself in three words?

Passionate. Curious. Kind.

What did you want to do with your life at age 12?

I wanted to be a professional soccer player, and I am the least sporty guy you’ll ever meet!

What’s the best thing that has happened in the past year?

The wake-up call for humanity in relation to our attitude towards the environment. For me personally, that I am alive so far.

What do you love most about what you do?

There is no routine and, therefore, no risk of ever becoming jaded.

What’s your design style?

Classical. It hides my ‘wild’ side.

What are your biggest strengths?

Passion and enthusiasm.

What song can you listen to on repeat?

Lost In The World by Kanye West, featuring Bon Iver.

What are the three things you can’t live without?

Love, art and music. 

What is your fondest memory as a child?

My parents were living in Japan and I will never forget my first trip to visit them. I fell in love with the country and culture. It’s a love that has only intensified with age.

Do you have a favourite pet and why do you love it?

My eight-year-old daughter’s cockapoo. After her intense lobbying over three to four years, I finally gave in. She studied dog breeding carefully, decided on this breed and even found a breeder all by herself. The arrival of Blueberry enhanced all of our lives immensely.