09/20/2011 03:08 pm ET Updated Nov 20, 2011

Art Market Analysis: Who Benefits From Charity Auctions?

The auction Artists for Haiti, organised by New York's David Zwirner gallery and Christie's, takes place on 22 September. It is perhaps the most ambitious charity event since Sotheby's 2008 auction for the rock star Bono's Red charity, which finances Aids, tuberculosis and malaria programmes in Africa. The Haiti sale includes high-value, new work by artists such as Luc Tuymans and Jeff Koons.
There are similarities between the two events: Red's $42.6m total--the result of a perfect confluence of strong market, blue-chip artists, and a celebrity-driven cause--wouldn't have been possible if Damien Hirst, after a meeting with Bono, hadn't approached artists including Banksy, Jasper Johns and Julian Schnabel. In Artists for Haiti's case, Zwirner, after a trip to Haiti with the actor Ben Stiller who works with charities in the region, also opened up his contacts book.

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