You Won’t Believe What Leonardo DiCaprio Auctioned Off Last Night

It was a mix of high art and celebrity items.

Damien Hirst, Beautiful Leonardo DiCaprio Looking Away Painting (2016). Courtesy of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.
Damien Hirst, Beautiful Leonardo DiCaprio Looking Away Painting (2016). Courtesy of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.

At the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation’s annual St. Tropez Gala last night, guests were in for a surprise, as actor-cum-artist Adrien Brody‘s charcoal and acrylic on canvas, titled Tiger on Last Legs (2016), was a hit. “This series, mostly fish related, references our culture’s evolution to being ‘hooked’ on convenience and instant gratification, and also has an environmental component,” read the sober description on the event’s website.

The auction, which was curated and organized by DiCaprio’s personal adviser, Lisa Schiff, also featured works by Pablo Picasso, Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst, Marc Quinn, James Turrell, and Urs Fischer, among other collectible artists. A 2016 George Condo painting, Blue Diagonal Head, was also snapped up by an eco-minded buyer. Simon de Pury was the auctioneer for the star-studded event, which raised funds for ecological concerns worldwide.

In a statement to artnet News, a publicist for the Foundation announced that the auction raised $45 million, achieving a higher mark compared to last year’s edition, which raised $40 million. Big winners at the event include a Koons painting which sold for $4 million, and a Picasso canvas that fetched $3.75 million.

Adrien Brody, Tiger On Last Legs (2016). Courtesy of the artist.

Adrien Brody, Tiger On Last Legs (2016). Courtesy of the artist.

The evening boasted an A-list guest list including actresses Cate Blanchett and Reese Witherspoon; actors George Clooney, Bradley Cooper, Jonah Hill, Tobey Maguire, and Edward Norton; U2 frontman Bono; filmmaker Steven Spielberg; and a slew of supermodels.

The gala comes on the heels of a new round of funding from the organization, which will provide $15.6 million in grants “to help solve some of the world’s most pressing environmental challenges,” said DiCaprio in a statement quoted by the Associated Press.

Urs Fischer, <em>$igh</em> (2016). Courtesy of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.

Urs Fischer, $igh (2016). Courtesy of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.

“It was amazing,” art advisor Michaela de Pury told artnet News in a phone interview about the event, adding that the “auction broke lots of records.”

The actor has been involved in the contemporary art world for some time. DiCaprio makes frequent appearances at Christie’s auction house in New York, especially during the spring and fall post-war and contemporary auctions, and has become a Frieze New York fixture. His foundation also hosted the 11th Hour Charity Auction at Christie’s in 2013, which raised over $38 million, and broke 13 world auction records.


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