Various Hermes bags donated by renowned celebs play muse to Jeff Koons. The American artist was commissioned by Paris-based art collector and philanthropist Svetlana Kuzmicheva-Uspenskaya to benefit her initiative. Jeff Koons created ten unique works which were auctioned to raise over $5.5 million to provide funds for Project Perpetual’s mission of worldwide access for children to lifesaving vaccines.
The highlight of the event was the Gazing Ball sculpture. This unique plaster sculpture incorporates three donated Hermès Birkin bags in the arms of a woman extending to a child. It has been inspired by Pablo Picasso’s painting La Soupe (1902-03) and is a part of Koons’s recent ‘Gazing Ball’ series.
The other nine pieces from the auction comprise of unique wall sculptures that incorporate donated Hermès bags as readymade objects on mirrors. These new sculptures recall some of Koons’s earliest artworks that he made when he moved to New York as a young artist in the late 70s. The sculpture and the individual bags were auctioned by Simon de Pury on November 9 in New York, with all proceeds benefiting the United Nations Foundation.
The evening’s pièce de résistance made of plaster and glass and holding Hermes bags donated by Diane von Furstenberg, Clara Kuo, Svetlana Kuzmicheva-Uspenksaya went under the hammer for $4 million.
While a Kelly bag featuring the visage of Grace Kelly and donated by Princess Caroline of Hanover, sold for $600,000, Sofia Coppola’s Birkin fetched $175,000. In all, the lively auction raised over $5.5 million in funds towards the fight against measles, a highly contagious disease that kills hundreds of children every day.Believing that genuine creativity can motivate new ways of giving, Project Perpetual raises funds through the sale of exclusive artworks and generates opportunities for imaginative advocacy from contributors who have the profile to engage a broader public in causes in vital need of attention.