A 2007 self-portrait by Chuck Close, one of 26 objects that famous artists have donated to help the victims of Haiti's 2010 earthquake, at the prodding of Ben Stiller, the actor-with-a-conscience who also collects art.
The works go under the hammer at Christie's auction house in New York on Sept. 22, with previews at Christie's Sept. 17 through 20. Christie's and David Zwirner are waving their cuts, so 100 percent of the hammer price will go to established non-profits working in Haiti. The day after the sale, Bill Clinton, Stiller, and Zwirner will host a high-end gala to raise further funds.
Earlier this year, Stiller invited Zwirner to join him in Haiti, then asked for his help in finding blue-chip contemporary artists who would support the country’s rebuilding, in a project called "Artists for Haiti.” Some donors made new pieces that speak to the matter at hand: Raymond Pettibon, for instance, contributed two gorgeous, giant images of inescapable waves. Other artists such as Cindy Sherman and Marlene Dumas merely offered up impressive objects that ought to go for a fortune.
- Blake Gopnik