On The Block

Leonardo DiCaprio’s Big Auction

In order to raise money for conservation, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation presents the 11th Hour Charity Auction at Christie’s on Monday night.

Christie's

Christie's

The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation's 11th Hour Charity Auction

The global environment is at a tipping point—its 11th hour, if you will—explains Leonardo DiCaprio in his introduction to “The 11th Hour Charity Auction” with Christie’s. Given conservation’s significant positive impact, DiCaprio and his foundation are seeking to ameliorate a system where less than 2 percent of charity goes toward conservation. In an effort to raise money, the Hollywood star and Christie’s will auction off works from 33 of the world’s most famous artists including Banksy, Andreas Gursky, Bharti Kher, Julian Schnabel, Richard Prince, and Mark Ryden, among others. Click through to see some of our favorites in the collection.

Pictured left is a portrait of Leonardo DiCaprio by American artist Elizabeth Peyton. While it evokes the celebrity portraits of Andy Warhol, its intimacy, particularly with the unmistakeable face of DiCaprio, captures the soft yet masculine visage so often seen onscreen. It is expected to sell for between $400,000 and $600,000.

Christie's

Robert Longo: Untitled (Leo), 2013

Created specially for the 11th Hour Auction, Robert Longo's charcoal drawing Untitled (Leo) is hair-raising in its use of light and dark to capture the power that lurks in the jungle. The drawing, one of Longo's largest, is expected to go for between $250,000 and $350,000.

Christie's

Mark Grotjahn: Untitled (Standard Lotus No. II, Bird of Paradise, Tiger Mouth Face 44.01), 2012

The resplendent color palette of Mark Grotjahn's Untitled (Standard Lotus No. II, Bird of Paradise, Tiger Mouth Face 44.01) reflects the variety of colors found in the jungles all over the world that DiCaprio's foundation are trying to preserve. In an interview with Portland Art, Grotjahn said about his “face” paintings, “I like the description of the eyes coming out of the jungle” and that his art was heavily influenced by Picasso. The painting is expected to go for $1.5–$2.5 million.

Christie's

Mark Ryden: Queen Bee, 2013

The mix of the surrealist cartoonish features of the woman in Queen Bee and an almost 19th-century attention to detail provides the viewer with a fun and yet impressive work to behold (not to mention that fantastic frame). That both figures in the painting seem unaware that their current state may lead to conflict is emblematic of a lot of the themes struck in the various work—the inevitable clash between man and nature. The painting by Ryden is expected to sell for between $300,000 and $400,000.

Christie's

Rob Pruitt: 6.20pm, late Summer, 2013

A talented artist whose shows over the years have shocked to say the least produces in this painting another of his iconic glittering pandas. This painting by Pruitt pulls the modern viewer in with glitter like a magpie to a shiny trinket. Yet a closer look provides a calming feeling, as one focuses on the panda itself, obliviously eating its meal. The painting is expected to go for between $100,000 and $150,000. 

Christie's

Takashi Murakami: Mononoke, 2013

Fusing traditionally high and low forms of Japanese art (painting and anime), Takashi Murakami's Mononoke is a visually mind-bending statement about modern Japan. In the painting's title and style, Murakami references the 1997 anime film Princess Mononoke, which is the story of man, animals, and gods duking it out for control of a new world. The painting is expected to go for between $500,000 and $700,000.

Christie's

Bharti Kher: The Skin Speaks a Language Not Its Own, 2006

Bharti Kher's The Skin Speaks a Language Not its Own is one of the most famous pieces of art to come out of India in the past decade. The life-size sculpture of an Indian elephant gracefully captures the struggle between beautiful symbols of fading cultures and the consequences of a rapidly modernizing world. Covered in bindis embodying India's tensions between history and industry, the elephant, despite her physical prowess, seems to acquiesce to a destructive new world. The sculpture is expected to sell for $1.8–$2.5 million.

Christie's

Urs Fischer: Good Problem, 2013

A multimedia piece that according to Christie's mixes aluminum, gesso, spray enamel, acrylic paint and silkscreen, Good Problem by Urs Fischer jolts the viewer by taking a familiar image from the film Brides of Dracula and transposing a large steel pipe across it. Fischer's work tends to focus on noncognitive viewing, relying more on shock. The piece is expected to go for between $450,000 and $550,000.