DiCaprio, Christie's to hold auction to benefit environment

Fri May 10, 2013 2:07am EDT
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By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Actor Leonardo DiCaprio, the star of the new film "The Great Gatsby," and his foundation have teamed up with Christie's for a charity auction next week to benefit environmental causes.

Thirty-three works, many created for and donated to the auction by some of the world's top artists, will go under the hammer on Monday in New York at The 11th Hour Auction, which aims to raise as much as $18 million to protect the last wild places on Earth and their endangered species.

"A lot of the works of this quality have never been at auction. We have what we believe are conservative estimates," Loic Gouzer, international specialist at Christie's and the head of the sale, said in an interview.

"It is going to be the biggest one-time environmental fundraiser ever," he added.

Zeng Fanzhi's "The Tiger," an oil on canvas, Bharti Kher's "The Skin Speaks a Language Not Its Own," a work on fiberglass, and Mark Grotjahn's "Untitled (Standard Lotus No. II, Bird of Paradise, Tiger Mouth Face 44.01), an oil on cardboard mounted on canvas, are expected to be among the highlights of the sale.

Each of the three works has a pre-sale estimate of $1.5 million to $2.5 million.

Other artists whose work will be auctioned include Peter Beard, Banksy, Robert Longo, Richard Prince, Rob Pruitt, Ed Ruscha, Julian Schnabel and Elizabeth Peyton.

DiCaprio has donated "Ocean V" by Andreas Gursky to the auction.   Continued...

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio attends the "The Great Gatsby" world premiere at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York in this May 1, 2013 file photo. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/Files