Jean-David Malat’s home is full of other people’s stories. The world-famous art dealer and tastemaker is showing us around his 1840s house in Lancaster Gate, going from one revered work to the next, whether it is an original Expressionist painting by Bernard Buffet, a limited-edition Damien Hirst print or a piece by celebrated Bronx graffiti artist Seen.
‘There is a great personal feeling,’ he says, of his collection. ‘The story [of the artworks or artist] is very important – if the story is boring, I’m not sure the artist will go far. When I hang a piece in my home, it is a moment of their life.’ Jean-David is genial and softspoken in a way you perhaps wouldn’t expect from someone whose 40th birthday two years ago was attended by the likes of Nick Foulkes, James Caan and Heather Kerzner, and was featured on the pages of Tatler.
His appearance is as impeccable as his manners. Dressed in a sharply cut Ozwald Boateng jacket, Diesel jeans and JMWeston boots, he passes over a morning espresso in a glass, flashing a limited-edition Hublot timepiece as he does so. But despite his modish clothes and chiselled, ex-model looks – he used to work on the catwalk before the career change – Paris-born Jean-David’s four-bedroom home, complete with stuccoed features and high ceilings, is surprisingly relaxed.
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