When he calls, they all come running – and they bring along gifts. British artist Damien Hirst has designed an A1 for Sir Elton John’s White Tie and Tiara Ball, which the musician and his partner David Furnish host each year at their Old Windsor residence. Audi sponsored the car for the auction held last night – making it the eighth consecutive year that the company has supported the AIDS charity event. The proceeds from the Hirst A1: 420.000 euros.
“That’s the most exciting object we’ve ever had on auction at the White Tie,” said Sir Elton John. Damien Hirst is considered one of Great Britain’s most important modern artists, and his works have earned record sums at Sotheby’s. Hirst painted the A1 in his studio in Gloucestershire, England, specifically for the White Tie and Tiara auction. The car was auctioned together with a 1.80-meter high spin painting on canvas, which Hirst created at the same time.
With the A1, Audi is positioning itself for the first time in the subcompact car segment. The youngest and up to now smallest Audi is preparing for its market launch in Europe. This means that the Hirst A1 will be the first model to be seen driving on British roads. The art object is ready for driving and approved for road traffic.
The White Tie and Tiara Ball is the most important charity event for the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF). The foundation has earned 48 million euros since the first ball in 1993. This is the eighth time Audi has supported the EJAF with auction lots, but Audi has never before donated an art object of this kind.
“We’re delighted to be able to support Sir Elton John’s wonderful charity event with the donation for the auction of a work of art that cannot be replicated,” said Jeremy Hicks, Director of Audi UK.
The Elton John AIDS Foundation is among the world’s ten largest AIDS foundations. It currently controls funds of more than 16 million euros, which are used for programs in 15 countries to supply thousands of men, women and children with lifesaving medicines, as well as information, food, education, housing and other support.