Leonardo DiCaprio Nabs Walton Ford Painting for $250,000 at Charity Auction

Turned out, the actor was the only bidder.

Leonardo DiCaprio and artist Walton Ford are close friends. Photo: earthstrongtt.org

Known art collector and Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio was reportedly caught off guard after bidding $250,000 on Walton Ford’s Pacific Theater (2015) at a charity auction benefiting endangered turtles.

The New York Post, which has the story, reported that the actor’s arm shot up as soon as auctioneer Fisher Stevens opened bidding on the painting at New York’s Bowery Hotel on Monday.

DiCaprio who already owns three works by the artist was, according to the report, expecting more competition for the piece, which was said to be valued at $500,000. Ford’s record at auction is held by Bitter Gulfs, a large watercolor that sold for $1.4 million at Christie’s in 2014.

But in a room full of bidders including wealthy collectors and celebrities such as Ted Danson, Richard Branson, Patti Smith, Naomi Watts, Liev Schreiber, and Robert Kennedy Jr., the actor was the only one to show an interest in the artwork.

DiCaprio, donning a newsboy cap, puffed on a vaporizer as the auctioneer hammered down the artwork at a quarter of a million dollars.

An unnamed insider told the Post that after negotiating with art dealer Tico Mugrabi and international specialist at Christie’s Loic Gouzer, DiCaprio and Gouzer decided to split the cost.

“They decided to go in on it together,” the unnamed observer said. “It remains to be seen who will get to keep the piece of art.” The Sotheby’s vice-president who has advised the actor on his growing collection in the past was reportedly responsible for recommending the piece to the actor.

The auction took place at New York City's exclusive Bowery Hotel. Photo: nyccraftdistillersfest.com

The auction took place at New York City’s exclusive Bowery Hotel.
Photo: nyccraftdistillersfest.com


Ford’s piece will take its place in DiCaprio’s collection alongside works by Frank Stella, Takashi Murakami, Ed Ruscha and Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Pacific Theater was the top-selling lot at the auction, with total sales of the evening totaling an excess of $700,000.

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