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A REPORT FROM THE PHANTOM ZONE

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By STEVE AISHMAN

Artists and giving to charitable causes seem to go well together. The biennial ARTcetera art auction is a great example where Boston's visual arts community has donated artwork and time to support the AIDS Action Committee since 1985. There are, of course, numerous other examples of charity art auctions across the globe for virtually every type of charity event. Most art auctions are supported largely by artist or collector donations and while every art auction is different, the quality of art and artists represented can be world class. The (RED) auction in 2008 raised $42.6 million to fight AIDS in Africa by auctioning works from artists like Banksy, Julian Schnabel, Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg. Whitechapel Gallery's charity auction in 2006 raised $5.2 million by auctioning works donated by artists like Carl Andre, Christian Boltanski, Angela Bulloch, Sophie Calle and many others.

Unfortunately, art auctions can also be sub-par displays of works that collectors or artists are trying to get rid of.

The reason why art auctions are popular and frequently successful is primarily because people want to donate to a cause, but also want to take something tangible home with them. Over the next year, charity art auctions to help Haiti will probably begin to pop-up as people stop donating directly to emergency aid foundations. So far, I have only seen one art auction where any artist can easily donate work to aid Haiti at:
http://140hours.com/
I don't know anything about this auction or the people who are running it, so I can not recommend that anyone participate with this particular auction in anyway, but I can support the idea of artists donating work to charity art auctions for Haiti as a whole.

However, if you are an artist or collector who is asked to participate in a charity auction for Haiti, please do not contribute sub-par work. If every artist or collector donated excellent work for charity auctions, then people will be much more like to participate in future auctions.

If you know of any charity art auctions for Haiti, please list them in comment section. (Of course I can not vouch for anything posted in the comment section; always beware of donating or working with any charity.)


Banksy/Hirst image found here.
Murakami image found here.


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About Author

Steve Aishman is a former resident of the Phantom Zone. Since his escape he has been a regular contributor Big RED & Shiny.

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