Leonardo DiCaprio and Christie’s Aim to Save the Planet


Leonardo DiCaprio and Christie’s New York raised $38.8 million at an auction last night to benefit the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, which intends to raise ecological awareness and preserve the environment. The sale had been estimated to net upwards of $15 million. Every work on offer found a buyer among bidders from 32 countries.

Along the way, auction records were set for no fewer than 13 artists among the 33 in the sale. They are: Carol Bove, Joe Bradley, Dan Colen, Mark Grotjahn, Sergej Jensen, Bharti Kher, Robert Longo, Adam McEwen, Raymond Pettibon, Elizabeth Peyton, Rob Pruitt, Sterling Ruby and Mark Ryden.

Among the evening’s most dramatic sales were Sterling Ruby’s SP231 (2013), an abstract red spray-painted canvas, which more than quadrupled its high estimate of $400,000 to fetch $1.79 million. Robert Longo’sUntitled (Leo), 2013, did the same, selling for $1.6 million on a high estimate of $350,000.

Artists donated works after studio visits from the actor and Christie’s specialist Loic Gouzer. “Artists are not so fazed by the ‘Leo effect,'” Gouzer told A.i.A. at a press preview last week. “They get to mix with celebrities all the time.”