Peter M. Brant, the heir to his father’s paper fortune, made his first big windfall playing the stock market in college, and with that windfall purchased two Warhols and a Franz Kline. He has been collecting contemporary art ever since. His collection, part of which is housed at the Brant Foundation Art and Study Center in Greenwich, Connecticut, includes works by Jeff Koons (in 1993, Brant and his wife, supermodel Stephanie Seymour, commissioned a duplicate of the iconic, monumental Koons “Puppy” that sits outside the Guggenheim Bilbao and is made of thousands of flowering plants, requiring tens of thousands of dollars of yearly maintenance), Jean-Michel Basquiat, and a large number of works by Andy Warhol. In fact, he purchased so many Warhols that the artist asked to meet him, and the two struck up a friendship. Brant would later help produce the Jed Johnson film Warhol’s Bad with Warhol in 1977, and co-produce Andy Warhol: A Documentary in 2006. He has commissioned major works by artists like Urs Fischer and Maurizio Cattelan. Inspired by the hunting trophies Brant had mounted on his walls, Cattelan made the piece informally known as “Trophy Wife,” in which a wax-cast sculptural bust of Seymour juts from the wall. In 2019, Brant opened a second space of his foundation in New York’s East Village neighborhood, with a Basquiat exhibition. (Brant was the chairman of ARTnews’s parent company from 2015 to 2018.)
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