“Collecting is a wonderful illness,” proclaims auctioneer and collector Simon de Pury in a short film called Collecting Is an Illness, which recently launched on Nowness. “It’s totally incurable.” In the film, Mr. de Pury is seated across from beer heiress and fashion collector Daphne Guinness, whose hair is dyed in skunk stripes and swept up in a messy French twist. The film cuts to a close-up of Ms. Guinness’s glossed and firmly pressed lips. “It’s an obsession,” he says and the camera cuts to Ms. Guinness’s legs, which are crossed in fishnet stockings.
In addition to gleaning priceless bits of collecting advice from these expansive art world gadabouts—”Art needs to be seen by more than one person,” says Ms. Guinness, otherwise, adds Mr. de Pury, “It’s like a house that’s not being lived in”—you get to watch Mr. de Pury working his charms as Ms. Guinness fidgets and fingers her sparkling bling. And Ms. Guinness seems appropriately spellbound. Why wouldn’t she be? Mr. de Pury managed to sell a painting by Basquiat for $16.3 million at the Phillips de Pury auction last night, setting a new record for the artist. He knows how to work a room.
“Simon is obviously a grand seducer,” says director Johnnie Shand Kydd in a statement about their flirtatiousness in the film. “You can’t fake that kind of chemistry.”