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Charles Saatchi

(b. 1943)

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(b Baghdad, 9 June 1943).

Iraqi-born British businessman and art collector. In 1970 he was co-founder with his brother Maurice of Saatchi & Saatchi, which became the world's largest advertising agency. He has devoted much of his enormous wealth to buying contemporary art on a huge (almost industrial) scale, and in 1985 his collection opened to the public in a new gallery (converted from a warehouse) in St John's Wood, north London. In 2003 it transferred to a more central location in County Hall, overlooking the Thames in Westminster, then moved again to the spacious setting of the Duke of York's Headquarters, Chelsea, where it opened in 2008. Saatchi's patronage has been welcomed by many (not least the artists who have benefited from it), but others have criticized the way in which his bulk buying has given him such power in the art market. He helped to create the boom in Neo-Expressionism and Neo-Geo, for example, and he has been the chief patron of the Young British Artists.

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