Articles

Christie’s Auction to Benefit Haiti: An Earnest Attempt or Not?

Exhibition title (all images by the author)

Ben Stiller, David Zwirner and Christie’s are teaming up to raise money for Haitian humanitarian non-profits by selling some of today’s most notable artists’ works. The auction is offering all proceeds to charity, a tax write-off for buyers and a waiver for all fees usually taken by the high-end auction house.

In a time when seemingly everybody needs help, people may question the motivations behind the auction and whether any money-making shenanigans will be taking place behind the scenes. It doesn’t seem like any of the figureheads have conflicts of interest, and let’s hope they keep it that way. Regardless, the many donated works valued for hundreds of thousands of dollars will be on sale for a reason other than the financial gain of just one or a few individuals, and that can’t be a bad thing.

Some of the works were made specifically for the auction, others are influential pieces I’m surprised were parted with. The artists and estates who agreed to contribute have given earnestly, further legitimizing this show in my mind, so I recommend you see it. It’s not often we get a chance to make the best of the commodification of art objects.

Jeff Koons, "Bikini (Desert)" (2001-2011), $500,000-700,000
Louise Bourgeois, "Untitled" (2005-2008), $150,000-200,000
Cecily Brown, "You Can't Make This Up", (2011), $400,000-500,000
Urs Fischer, "Tomorrow" (2010), $300,000-400,000
Ed Ruscha, "Pick, Pan, Shovel #7", (1979), $50,000-75,000
Jasper Johns, "Untitled", (2009), $500,000-600,000
Dan Flavin, "'monument' for V. Tatlin", (1967), $800,000-1,200,000
Raymond Pettibon, "No Title (But the sand…)", (2011), $300,000-500,000
James Rosenquist, "The Richest Person Gazing at the Universe Through a Hubcap", (2011), $600,000-800,000, (Left), Gallerist David Zwirner, (Right)
Martin Kippenberger, "Kippenblinky", (1991), $100,000-150,000
Francis Alÿs, "Le juif errant", (2011), "Study for 'Le juif errant'", (2011), "Study for 'Le juif errant'", (2011), $150,000-200,000

The Artists for Haiti exhibition at David Zwirner (525 West 19th Street, New York) opened on September 6 and will be on view until September 10, 2011. All artworks will also be on view at Christie’s (20 Rockefeller Plz, suite #6) from September 17 – September 20, 2011. The auction will take place at Christie’s on September 22, 2011 with a benefit event at the Skylight Soho (275 Hudson Street, New York) on September 23, 2011. 

comments (0)