One of the leading AIDS charitys has raised a staggering $30 million in support of amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, and its pursuit of a cure for HIV/AIDS. The star-studded black-tie event was held at the Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes, France, during the Cannes Film Festival. The undisputed highlight of the evening’s live auction, led by auctioneer Simon de Pury, was a stunning 18½ foot tall sculpture by Jeff Koons, titled Coloring Book. This magnificent artwork which was first displayed in front of the Royal Academy in London during the Summer Show in 2011 was on display at the Hôtel du Cap for guests to view against the backdrop of the Mediterranean. After a lively round of bidding, the work, part of Koons’s Celebration Series, sold for over $13 million.
Other highlights of the auction: A priceless pencil drawing by Pablo Picasso titled “L’Etreinte,” signed and dated by the artist, sold for $800,000, An Andy Warhol portrait of Elizabeth Taylor, amfAR’s Founding International Chairman, sold to Eva Longoria for $600,000, An untitled work by one of the most acclaimed and influential artists of the 20th century, Alexander Calder, auctioned off by Frances McDormand, also sold for $600,000 and the final auction lot of the evening was a private portrait sitting with legendary fashion photographer Mario Testino. Taking the stage with top models Karlie Kloss, Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, and Jourdan Dunn, Mr. Testino helped sell the experience for nearly $1,000,000.
Jeff Koons ‘Coloring Book’ Outside the Royal Academy in 2011
Other guests in attendance read like a textbook whos who of A-listers. Many of whom participated in the evening’s auction included: Antonio Banderas, Matt Bellamy, Andrea Bocelli, Adrien Brody, Marion Cotillard, Xavier Dolan, Lily Donaldson, Jourdan Dunn, Michael Fassbender, Tom Ford, David Gandy, Melissa George, Madalina Ghenea, Jake Gyllenhaal, Bella Hadid, Gigi Hadid, Lewis Hamilton, Eva Herzigova, Chanel Iman, Kendall Jenner, Harvey Keitel, Karlie Kloss, Zoe Kravitz, Karolina Kurkova, Adriana Lima, Eva Longoria, Sienna Miller, Petra Nemcova, Rita Ora, Barbara Palvin, Michelle Rodriguez, Irina Shayk, Paolo Sorrentino, Dita von Teese, Mario Testino, Robin Thicke, Chris Tucker, Alicia Vikander, Binx Walton, and Lindsey Wixson, among many others.
Another outstanding work by one of the world’s best known artists, legendary Columbian painter and sculptor Fernando Botero, was also on display throughout the event. Titled Donna su Cavallo, and introduced by John C. Reilly and Eva Herzigova, the statue went for $2.2 million.
A work by Banksy, the world’s most famous and mysterious street artist, was donated to the auction by Leonardo diCaprio from his private collection and sold for over $1 million. TitledSmiling Copper on Cardboard, it was introduced by Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard. Mr. DiCaprio also contributed a one-of-kind experience to the auction by offering a seat at his table at the upcoming gala for the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation in St. Tropez. The surprise package, which also included a private dinner with Mr. DiCaprio, sold for $280,000.
After the Cinema Against AIDS dinner, guests were invited to an exclusive After Party presented by Moncler featuring DJ Mark Ronson, whose latest hit “Uptown Funk” with Bruno Mars spent 14 consecutive weeks at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100.