One of the highest grossing charity auctions in history took place last night at Christie’s New York. The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, in partnership with the auction house presented The 11th Hour charity auction, to benefit environmental and wildlife conservation efforts supported by the Foundation. By the end of the evening, sales totalled a staggering $33.3 million for the Foundation’s conservation efforts. Over 30 of today’s most important living artists from around the world donated masterpieces, many of which were created especially for the auction.
Sales highlights for The 11th Hour evening sale featured top-tier works by 33 leading contemporary artists including, Kai Althoff, Banksy,(($315,000) Peter Beard, Carol Bove, Joe Bradley, Cecily Brown, Dan Colen ($714,000) , George Condo ($840,000), John Currin, Zeng Fanzhi ($5,040,000), Urs Fischer ($1102,500), Walton Ford, Mark Grotjahn, Andreas Gursky ($630,000), Sergej Jensen, Anish Kapoor, ($735,000) Bharti Kher( $1785,000), Sherrie Levine, Robert Longo, Adam McEwen, Takashi Murakami, ($735,000) Cady Noland, Raymond Pettibon, Elizabeth Peyton, Richard Prince (££1260,000), Rob Pruitt, Neo Rauch, Robert Rauschenberg, Ugo Rondinone, Sterling Ruby, Ed Ruscha($367,5000), Mark Ryden, Julian Schnabel and Rudolf Stingel.
The 11th Hour auction is dedicated to protecting the last wild places on Earth and the critically endangered species that inhabit them. Funds raised at the event will go to innovative conservation projects selected by the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation that protect key ocean and land based ecosystems and engage local communities to protect their natural resources. Recipient projects will undergo a rigorous review process by the Foundation and a panel of leading environmental experts to ensure their long-term effectiveness and potential scalability.
Since 1998, the Foundation has been working on pressing environmental and humanitarian issues through grant-making, campaigning and media projects. Areas of focus include; wildlife and habitat preservation, healthy oceans, water access, climate change and disaster relief. The Foundation’s strategic approach to philanthropy for a better planet relies upon active collaboration with effective organizations as well as with other funders who share our goals and can magnify our impact.
DiCaprio said; “My Foundation has worked on environmental issues since 1998, and despite the great efforts by organizations all over the world, our planet is in trouble. The modern world is placing enormous pressure on the very natural systems that sustain us; we are destroying our forests, polluting the air and water, overfishing our oceans and facing overwhelming extinction rates of plants and animals. Consequently less than 2% of our Oceans and 12% of our forests and wildlands are protected. Nature is abundant and it is resilient, but we have to take action now to protect our planet before it’s too late. Given that less than 2% of philanthropic giving goes to environmental conservation projects, we are grateful that Christie’s and the participating artists are providing this incredible opportunity.”