François Pinault: artist maker
Art & Business | With the creation of an artist residency in Lens, the collector and patron François Pinault adds a new activity to the creative and commercial ecosystem he’s been building since the 2000’s.
Directed by former cultural minister Jean-Jacques Aillagon, also the primary advisor to François Pinault, the residency project, founded on the rehabilitation of the mythic cité 9, will welcome young foreign artist for year-long stays. This private initiative joins the Lens Louvre satellite in an attempt to culturally and creatively redevelop the derelict Nord-Pas-De-Calais mining town. But in the background, the Lens artist residency adds a new element to the François Pinault and Kering consortium, who now master the entire chain of production, from creation to the marketplace : Christie’s auction house, active patronage of museum exhibitions, cultural influence through a foundation that manages two Venetian locations, and travelling exhibitions throughout the globe drawing on François Pinault’s personal collection. In the realm of major patrons, the businessman’s action sets itself apart through a strategy of networking – rather than diffusion – that is built around organized influence, like a minister of culture with private objectives.