• Press release
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  • New York
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  • For immediate release
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  • 15 March 2017

PRESS RELEASE: Full details about the property sold to benefit Elton John AIDS Foundation




Cindy Sherman, Untitled # 554, 2010/2012, $60,000-80,000 | Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures, New York

Cindy Sherman, Untitled # 554, 2010/2012, $60,000-80,000 | Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures, New York

Herb Ritts, Backflip, Paradise Cove, 1987, $40,000-60,000 | The Collection of the artist, Malibu, California; Courtesy of the Herb Ritts Foundation

Herb Ritts, Backflip, Paradise Cove, 1987, $40,000-60,000 | The Collection of the artist, Malibu, California; Courtesy of the Herb Ritts Foundation

New York – On April 6, Christie’s will present Property Sold to Benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation within its Photographs sale. The selection encompasses 25 remarkable photographs that have been donated by renowned artists, estates and collectors. All proceeds from the auction will benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF), an international non-profit organization Elton John founded 25 years ago with the mission to end the AIDS epidemic.

Sir Elton John remarked:We started the Elton John AIDS Foundation 25 years ago and it is wonderful to commemorate this year with an extraordinary group of photographs, donated so kindly by some of the greatest photographers in the world. At EJAF, we are determined to END AIDS by investing in people’s health, wellbeing, equality, and opportunity and by building the circumstances in which HIV and AIDS recede into history. Over the past 25 years, we have witnessed progress but also daunting setbacks. So, we cannot let up. We hope all of the collectors participating in this sale will respond to the urgency of our work by bidding generously on these amazing photographs. By participating in this photography sale, you are standing with us against all of the forces that keep the AIDS epidemic going.

Darius Himes, International Head of Photographs, Christie’s, continued “The works in this auction represent 80 years of photographic history and are by some of the most recognized and respected names in the field, including Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank, Irving Penn, Peter Hujar, Cindy Sherman, Sally Mann, and Paul Graham. Many breakaway talents of the contemporary photographic art world are also represented including Alec Soth, Allison Rossiter, Richard Learoyd, Todd Hido, Katy Grannan, and Ahmet Ertug. The collectability of these works runs high, but the inspiration in this art is breathtaking.”

The selection includes a breadth of works from many of the medium’s most prolific artists spanning from the early 20th Century through to the present. Highlights include Cindy Sherman’s Untitled # 554, 2010/2012 (estimate: $60,000-80,000) – pictured on page 1, left, Irving Penn’s 1,000 Year Old Eggs (A), New York, 2003 (estimate: $20,000-30,000) and Herb Ritts’s Backflip, Paradise Cove, 1987 (estimate: $40,000-60,000) – pictured page 1, right.

Herb Ritts’s inclusion in the sale is particularly fitting. “Great artists, including Mapplethorpe and Herb, were lost to AIDS,” remarked Sir Elton. “They died so young, and their loss was so tragic. Herb’s work means he’s still supporting our work even though he’s not with us.” EJAF’s Chairman David Furnish added: “You can’t work in photography and not be touched by someone who was affected by HIV/AIDS.”


About Christie’s

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Christie’s auctions span more than 80 art and luxury categories, at price points ranging from $200 to over $100 million. Christie’s has sold 8 of the 10 most important single-owner collections in history, including the Paul G. Allen Collection—the most valuable collection ever offered at auction (November 2022). In recent years, Christie’s has achieved the world record price for an artwork at auction (Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi, 2017), for a 20th century artwork (Andy Warhol’s Shot Sage Blue Marilyn, 2022) and for a work by a living artist (Jeff Koons’ Rabbit, 2019). 

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