If all goes as expected next Monday, May 13th, environmental initiatives around the world will receive a massive boost in funding. And it's all thanks to the efforts of one Leonardo DiCaprio.
The 38-year-old "Great Gatsby" actor has been planning the event for over a year - working in partnership with auction house Christie's to secure stunning works of art from some of the world's most celebrated living artists. When they hit the block during the "11th Hour" event Monday evening, totals for DiCaprio's environmental foundation could top out between $15M-$25M. It's no wonder the fundraiser is being billed as the largest ever for the green scene
"Nature is abundant and it is resilient, but we have to take action now to protect our planet before it’s too late," DiCaprio said in a statement. "Given that less than 2 percent of philanthropic giving goes to environmental conservation projects, we are grateful that Christie’s and the participating artists are providing this incredible opportunity.”
Notable names who have donated pieces, many created specifically for the event, include Kai Althoff, Banksy, Peter Beard, Carol Bove, Joe Bradley, Cecily Brown, Dan Colen, George Condo, John Currin, and many more. A piece by by Zeng Fanzhi titled "The Tiger," from the private collection of billionaire Francois Pinault, is estimated alone to go for between $1.5M-$2.5M. A portrait of DiCaprio by Elizabeth Peyton may go for between $400,000-$600,000.
"The selection grew quite organically. It was a mixture of Leo’s taste and my taste – we didn’t agree on everything at first but through the process I believe we managed to convince each other on all artists. We also approached artists we believe would be sensitive to environmental problems,” stated Loic Gouzer, International Specialist and head of the sale.