11th Hour Auction
by Michael dEstries
Categories: Causes, Environment
Tags: .
Photo: Christie's Art House

It was a dazzling show of wealth and art that even the Great Gatsby would have appreciated.

On Monday evening, Leonardo DiCaprio and Christie’s Auction House played host to billionaires, millionaires, art aficionados, and celebrities in an unprecedented fundraiser for the actor’s environmental foundation.

The 33 works of art from some of the world’s greatest living artists, many of them donating original created specifically for the event, brought in $31.74M.

“All I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you,” DiCaprio told the audience at the end of the auction, which brought in much more than the estimated $18M-$20M predicted.

In addition to the art sold, Reuters reports that “a US$5 million matching donation for three of the lots and $1.15 million in other donations raised the overall total to nearly $38 million.”

Some of the highlights from the evening included spirited bidding on a portrait of DiCaprio that ended up selling for $1M – a record auction sale for the artist Elizabeth Peyton. Another by artist Mark Grotjahn called Untitled (Standard Lotus No. II, Bird of Paradise, Tiger Mouth Face 44.01) stole the top bid of the evening of $6.2M.

DiCaprio’s “Gatsby” co-star, Tobey Maguire, picked up a Sergej Jensen piece for $250,000 – while Leo himself threw down $700K for a  Takashi Murakami painting titled Mononoke that won’t be ready until next fall.

After the event, Christie’s officials told journalists that the event was likely the highest-grossing charity auction ever. A panel of environmental experts and the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation will now decide what initiatives to support with the proceeds.

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

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  • http://twitter.com/EcoHustler EcoHustler

    BRILLIANT!!