Last night Christie’s hammered an impressive $31.7 million across 33 contemporary works in a charity auction organized by Leonardo DiCaprio. Thirteen new artist records were set, with many works doubling their pre-sale high estimates. The night had a total high estimate of just $18 million and most of the proceeds from the auction, titled the 11th Hour, will go to the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, a conservation charity.
“The fact is this is the 11th hour,” Mr. DiCaprio said from the rostrum in a speech about the environment before the sale. “That’s why this is called the 11th Hour auction.”
Mr. DiCaprio, who visited artists to solicit donations for months before the sale and personally called collectors beforehand, encouraged the room of dealers and celebrities to “bid as if the fate of the planet depends on us.” Specialist Loic Gouzer, who helped organize the sale, was similarly severe, choosing to motivate…
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