When I first met Johnny Pigozzi--probably before the time of this photo with Clint Eastwood-- we were both finding our way in the media landscape. We hadn't been out of school that long--I was working for the French Government helping French films find outlets in the US and he was working for a French distributor. Sometimes we would drive to my mother's house in his little Volkswagen and have a picnic with friends, and I remember being struck from the outset about his flouting of convention and his effervescent high spirits. Tame would be the furthest adjective one would have used.
Johnny always had his little Leica with him. I don't know if he had already been hanging out at the Factory with Andy Warhol and seen how Warhol used his camera, but I had never seen anyone deploy the camera quite as much as a diary as Johnny did.
Now it's quite clear that he was one of the original purveyors of the Selfie and his new collection of photos, Me + Co is further testament to that. Yes, it's true that he hangs out with celebs and can deploy his wealth to that end, but he has made his own way in that world as an original well before the concept of selfie was even on the horizon, and unlike most selfie-takers, not only as a photographer, but as a participant. Johnny attributes his long arm and his flash for helping secure images of people like Mick Jagger and Cate Blanchett but he is just as apt to catch his shampoo technician or a cat.