Simon de Pury

Despite how it may have seemed, Simon is most definitely not a morning person.

on Nov 10, 2011

This is the second time so far this season that my task as mentor was to wake up the contestants at some unbelievably early hour. You can imagine how early I had to get up that morning to be ready for shooting at 5:30am sharp. When watching the episode, it gave the impression that I was chirpy and full of eagerness and energy to start the new day. I can assure you that it was an optical illusion, since by temperament I am a night bird and I sometimes find it agonizingly hard to get up at the crack of dawn. I always felt people in the auction world were working incredibly hard, but when I see the hours that people in the world of television are clocking my full respect goes out to them. Getting all packed into a small van with the remaining nine contestants and driving out to the impressive plant of the New York Times was actually a most fun experience. It is the longest time I have had the chance to hang around with them, since my contact otherwise is strictly limited to my studio visits and to the gallery openings. Despite the competitive nature of this show, I felt a very positive spirit of camaraderie between the artists and that all of them regarded it as a great opportunity and as a rewarding experience. The printing plant itself was truly impressive, the filmed segments give a sampling of its magnitude. It must be the largest newspaper printing facility of its kind in the world. In the context of the speed of light changes that are due to the advent of the digital world, it also already feels like a symbol of the past.