07/09/1979 at 01:00 AM EDT
I love rich and successful people," explains Parisian-born Jean Christophe Pigozzi, 27, who has spent the last decade focusing seven Leica cameras on the people he admires. Now he has published his favorite photographs in Pigozzi's Journal of the Seventies (Doubleday, $8.95). "These are the people I like to play with," he explains. "They specialize in glamor. They have dedicated themselves to stardom, but in their off-hours they're like everybody else. They read the newspaper. They cook. They worry about their kids' education. I wanted to show them normal and happy."
Independently wealthy (his father founded the Simca car company) and Harvard-educated ("I wanted to be a big businessman until I learned I had too much fantasy"), Pigozzi spends his time between an apartment in Lausanne, Switzerland, Paris, New York and Room 374 at the Beverly Hills Hotel. "The best way to meet stars is to stay at the same hotel," he advises. "You meet one and then another because they only hang out with each other." Thus, through Andy he met Bianca who introduced him to Mick who brought along Jerry, etc.
"I've never been timid," the 6'3" lensman admits. "I will talk to anybody. Most photographers are afraid," he adds. "They take a picture and run as if they're stealing something. My idea is to laugh with my subjects, become friends and then to ask permission." He doesn't tell his notables that at the last minute he is prone to sneak into the picture. As he explains: "I hope one day to be successful too."