Dubai: A Dubai charity auction of artworks by leading artists and celebrities, and from the personal collections of world leaders, has raised Dh36,673,000 for the UAE’s ‘100 Million Meals’ Ramadan campaign to feed disadvantaged individuals and families in 30 countries.
The live in-person event on Saturday night featured a piece of the Kiswa, the cover of the Kaaba structure in Mecca’s grand mosque, from the personal collection of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The Kiswa piece was sold for $2.7 million.
Other items included works by the late South African President Nelson Mandela, artists Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Henri Matisse and Joan Miro, and British artist Sacha Jafri, who recently created the world’s largest painting on canvas in Dubai. A part of Jafri’s ‘The Road to Journey of Humanity’ painting sold for $4.2 million, the highest amount at the auction.
The charity art auction was organised by Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI) in collaboration with Maupy Auction.
All items sold
The charity auction recorded a sell-out of all valuable items, raising AED 36,673,000, which will help provide 36,673,000 meals to beneficiaries in 30 countries throughout Ramadan.
The exclusive auction had on display some rare works made available for one night only, by many of the art world’s greatest contemporary masters including Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Henri Matisse, Joan Miro, Henry Moore and David Hockney.
Two rare drawings by late South African President Nelson Mandela were also up for bidding.
The charity art auction was an innovative addition to the existing donation channels that MBRGI had established for the ‘100 Million Meals’ campaign and expanded the donor pool to include art collectors and enthusiasts.
Attendees and participants
The auction took place at the Mandarin Oriental Jumeira in Dubai, and was attended by Shaikha Latifa Bint Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture); Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications; Florian Picasso, the great grandson of the Spanish artist Pablo Picasso; Sima Ved, Founder & Chairwoman of Apparel Group; Vikram Shroff, Director UPL Group; Mona Kattan, Co-Founder of Huda Beauty & Kayali Fragrances; German Tennis Player Boris Becker; and Marjorie Harvey, wife of American TV host Steve Harvey, in addition to several philanthropists, artists, high-profile personalities, and businessmen to support ‘100 Million Meals’ aid efforts.
Hosts for the evening
The auction was hosted by Jonny Gould, former presenter of the sunrise program on Sky News and sports news anchor on Radio Smooth and BBC Radio 2. Gold is famous for his comedic approach in emceeing events, especially charity auctions, and gathering large sums in donation,
Radio and TV Presenter Tom Urquhart was a guest speaker for the night.
The auction hosted the British-Indian artist Sacha Jafri, painter of ‘The Journey of Humanity’ that holds the Guinness World Record for the largest art canvas.
The auction included a unique collaborative work, which was painted live during the auction 2020 World Artist of the Year winner Sacha Jafri. Commissioned by the ‘100 Million Meals’ campaign, the joint artwork served as an additional layer on top of one of Jafri’s iconic Canvas-Panels that was created in the lead-up to his record breaking ‘The Journey of Humanity’. The painting, dubbed ‘The Road to the Journey of Humanity’ uniquely features the signature of Shaikha Latifa and the handprint and signature of Florian Picasso, the great grandson of the Spanish artist Pablo Picasso.
A New Hope — A Child’s Prayer
Jafri’s piece that features handprints and signatures of the many celebrities supporting the ‘100 Million Meals’ campaign, including Cristiano Ronaldo, Eva Longoria, Steve Harvey, Maria Bravo, and Roger Federer, Boris Becker, Amir Khan and Marjorie Harvey was also auctioned during the event.
The ‘Swallow’ black and white by the late South African President Nelson Mandela, which came directly from his family, along with ‘The original ‘Swallow’ line drawing, were both auctioned during the event.
French artist Henri Matisse’s one-of-a-kind ‘Fleurs dans un vase’ drawing was also auctioned during the event.
Among the items on bid were Pablo Picasso’s gold medallions, commissioned to the prominent goldsmith Francois Hugo to create a series of patters, dishes and medallions in gold and silver made after the original designs were sketched by Picasso himself.
The seven medallions up for bidding at the auction are: ‘Faune Cavalier’, a 5-cms 23-carat gold medallion, ‘Visage de Faune’, another 5-cms 23-carat gold medallion, ‘Profile de Jacqueline’, a 5.5-cms 23-carat gold medallion, ‘Horloge à la Ligne’, another 5.5-cms 23-carat gold medallion, ‘Jacqueline Au Chevalet’, a 5-cms 23-carat gold medallion, ‘Tete Au Masque’, a 5-cms 23-carat gold medallion, and ‘Vaullaris’, a 5-cms 23-carat gold medallion.
The original pencil on irregular verge Gris paper, ‘Etude de visages: Madonna, enfant et profile d’homme’ (Study of faces: Madonna, Child and Profile of a Man).
Two of Hockney’s pieces were auctioned. ‘In Front of House Looking West’, signed and stamped by the artist in pencil, while his second piece ‘Matelot Kevin Druez 2’, which depicts a sailor smoking a cigarette while gazing provocatively into the observer.
Two pieces for Spanish painter Joan Miró collectively generated Dh771,000. The first — ‘Untitled’ — was handed over for Dh220,000 to Umar Kamani, co-founder of Pretty Little Thing, while the second artwork — ‘Personages, Oiseau’ — painted on plywood.
The last item on the bidding list was Henry Moore’s bronze sculpture with a dark brown and green patina, titled ‘Mother Holding Child’.
The auction raised additional funds for the ‘100 Million Meals’ campaign, which had achieved its target on Thursday by raising Dh100 million in just 10 days from its launch, thanks to the donations of 185,000 companies and individuals inside and outside the UAE.
The ‘100 Million Meals’ campaign remains open for donation through four simple channels. First, on the campaign’s website www.100millionmeals.ae; second, via making a transfer to the designated bank account through Dubai Islamic Bank (AE08 0240 0015 2097 7815 201); third, by sending “Meal” by SMS on the specified UAE numbers (Du or Etisalat) listed on the website; fourth, by contacting the campaign call Centre on the toll-free number 8004999.
Food parcels’ distribution have already begun to empower targeted groups across the world to prepare their own meals during Ramadan. To ensure swift and integrated distribution, the MBRGI is working with several international and local partners in each beneficiary country to deliver the parcels, including the UN World Food Programme. The UAE, through its humanitarian initiatives, is committed to offering relief and support to those in need, especially after the outbreak of COVID-19 exacerbated hunger and malnutrition among poor populations.