DiCaprio environmental art auction tops $38 million

 Leo DiCaprio is a very talented and famous movie star. His current movie, "The Great Gatsby" is now in theaters and he does a wonderful job in the lead role of Gatsby. But although that is a big part of his life, it is not the only passion that he follows.

He is also very concerned about what is happening to our world as far as the environment and the dire future of many of our wild animals such as one of his favorites - the tigers. Leo DiCaprio has started his own foundation in order to actively do something about these issues. It is called the Leo DiCaprio Foundation and he describes his foundation as, "dedicated to protecting the last wild places on Earth and the critically endangered species that inhabit them."

On April 13th of this year, he joined Christie’s Auction House to raise money for the Leonardo DiCaprio foundation, which deals with environmental issues. A statement from DiCaprio warned that “Nature is abundant and it is resilient, but we have to take action now to protect our planet before it’s too late.”

Leo urged buyers to bid 'as if the planet’s fate depended on them', when he co-hosted the 11th Hour Charity Auction on April 13. Other celebrity guests that were helping raise money included Mark Ruffalo, Salma Hayek and Bradley Cooper. Leo is reported to have spent months soliciting donations from artists and generating interest from collectors. Much of the art was created for the event and addressed environmental themes.

The auction, featured works by more than 30 living artists, including British artists like photographer Adam Mcewen, graffiti artist Banksy, and sculptor Anish Kapoor. Nine of the works sold for more than $1 million. Two of the top sellers, such as Mark Grotjahn's "Untitled" went for $6.5 million and Zeng Fanzhi's "The Tiger" fetched $5 million. This was double their original estimates that resulted from the enthusiastic bidding from around the world. A 2013 portrait of DiCaprio himself by Elizabeth Peyton sold for $1.05 million, compared to its $400,000-$600,000 estimate.

The event is reported to have raised $38,827,000 - well over the $18 million that organizers were hoping to raise. Christie’s called the event “the most important charity action ever”. Most of the proceeds went to environmental protection causes championed by the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. Even after the sale, the total shot up when an anonymous collector donated $5 million to match the prices realized for all three tiger paintings featuring in the line-up "in order to protect tigers," according to Christies.

DiCaprio was very pleased with the outcome but cautioned that the world's embattled environment still needs far more help. "Despite the significant efforts of organizations and individuals all over the world, our modern way of life has caused unprecedented devastation to our oceans, our forests and our wildlife," he said. "We are at the 11th hour, we are facing a tipping point of environmental crisis unprecedented in human history."

VIDEO The 11th Hour Trailer

Responses to "Leonardo DiCaprio's Environmental Art Auction at Christies brings in $38 million for Environmental Causes"

  1. Anonymous says:

    How wonderful to raise money for such a cause, but let us not forget there are so many more causes to fight for animals and the environment!!!! Bravo Leonardo!!!!!

  2. Morgana says:

    We must eat less, spend less, pollute less and produce less, but CARE more about what happens AROUND THE WORLD.

Write a comment