Birthday: June 9, 1943
Age: 78 Years, 78 Year Old Males
Sun Sign: Gemini
Born in: Baghdad
Famous as: Businessman
London School Of Economics
Spouse/Ex-: Doris Lockhart, Kay Saatchi, Nigella Lawson
mother: Daisy Ezer
siblings: Baron Saatchi, Maurice Saatchi
children: Phoebe Saatchi
City: Baghdad, Iraq
Founder/Co-Founder: Saatchi Gallery, Saatchi & Saatchi, M&C Saatchi
education: London School of Economics and Political Science, Christ's College, Finchley
Who is Charles Saatchi?
Charles Saatchi is a British businessman and one of the most well-known collectors of contemporary works of art. He was born into a wealthy family and continued to build on this wealth his entire life amassing to a very comfortable retirement today. During his early career he worked for a few different advertisement companies and met some very significant people during this time including his first wife and an art director. These influences combined with his young childhood passion for comics came together to bring out the art lover in him. While he co-founded an advertisement company with his brother he was also collecting pieces of art and becoming very well known in the art community. Eventually his company became one of the biggest in the entire world and Saatchi decided to devote most of his attention to his passion for art. He opened up a gallery to showcase his personal collections and was often known for buying an artist’s entire collection. He was able to bring many young artists from obscurity to fame just by being present at their exhibits. He has gained universal recognition for his influence on modern art and has made a substantial amount from buying works of art, promoting them, and then reselling them for a huge profit
Childhood & Early Life
Charles Saatchi was born on June 9, 1943 in Baghdad, Iraq, to Nathan Saatchi and Daisy Ezer. He was raised in a large, well-off family and has three brothers.
His family was Jewish and began suffering from Jewish persecution and hence decided to move to London, in 1947. They lived comfortably in northern London in a huge house with eight bedrooms.
He received his early education from Christ’s College secondary school and later on studied at the London College of Communication. While at school, he became obsessed with US pop culture.
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Charles Saatchi’s first job was as copywriter at Benton & Bowles. It was here that he met an art director, Ross Cramer, with whom he partnered up to work at ‘Collett Dickenson Pearce’ and ‘John Collins & Partners’.
In 1967, he and Cramer decided to leave their positions with John Collins & Partners. Together, they opened CramerSaatchi a creative consultancy. They took some clients directly and also offered consultancy with advertisement agencies.
In 1969, he bought his first art piece; it was by Sol LeWitt. It was not too long before he began collecting art as a hobby. Once he even purchased an entire show by Robert Mangold.
In 1970, he decided to begin a partnership with his brother Maurice. They created an advertisement agency called Saatchi & Saatchi.
In 1985, he created the Saatchi Gallery. It exhibited all the art he had in his collection which had been rapidly growing since his first purchase. His gallery quickly gained fame as a place that displayed minimalists and pop artists who had not gained a lot of fame yet. Such artists included Andy Warhol, Brice Marden, and Roy Lichtenstein.
In 1994, the company Saatchi & Saatchi was struggling and the board voted to fire his brother Maurice. In response, he quit not too long after that. Together the pair created a new agency called M&C Saatchi.
In 1998, he founded the Saatchi Shul. It was founded in Maida Vale as an Orthodox Jewish synagogue and is currently one of the fastest growing synagogues in central London.
In 2009, he published “My Name is Charles Saatchi and I am an Artoholic.” The same year he had a television show, “School of Saatchi,” which aired on the BBC network.
In July of 2010, Charles Saatchi donated his entire gallery to the British public. He also donated an additional 200 works of art from his personal collection and 25 million pounds to the British nation.
By 1986, Saatchi & Saatchi grew to be one of the largest advertising agencies in the world. At the time the company had over 600 offices around the globe. The agency’s success was brought to the forefront when they created and promoted the famous Margaret Thatcher “Labour Isn’t Working” slogan. In 1989 alone, the revenue from the company was $3.2 billion.
Charles Saatchi is credited with creating a movement that changed art history. He made young British pop and conceptualist art more accessible and well-known. This type of art became a movement which spread worldwide and is said to have influenced many artists.
Personal Life & Legacy
In 1973, Charles Saatchi married Doris Dibley. She was an art enthusiast and would often go with Charles to buy different pieces. At the time of their marriage, she was an art and design journalist.
In 1991, he married Kay Hartenstein and had a daughter, Phoebe. The couple divorced after ten years together.
In 2003, he married Nigella Lawson. In 2013 they had a public argument which was photographed by paparazzi. The police charged him with assault and the couple divorced.
He has an estimated net worth of $165 million dollars according to Forbes. His advertising agency, Saatchi & Saatchi, helped him generate much of his revenue when it became the most successful advertising agency in the world in the mid 1980’s. Additionally his art trading usually provides him with a large profit.
When Saatchi & Saatchi was just starting out the two brothers were desperate to recruit clients. One client wanted to visit their office so Charles decided to hire 12 actors to pretend they were office executives to make the business appear more successful.
In 1993, he took an obscure Jenny Saville and paid for a studio for her. He paid her salary to make art for his gallery. Her portraits are now worth up to $1.1 million.