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How To Buy Art That Benefits COVID Causes

These artists and institutions are selling limited-edition works to raise funds for Coronavirus-related causes.

Mark Seliger/Christie's


Mark Seliger, Kurt Cobain, Kalamazoo, MI, 1993

Award-winning American celebrity photographer Mark Seliger is partnering with Christie's auction house to sell 26 of Seliger’s most-celebrated portraits in a charity sale called RADArt4Aid.

Available through online auction until 12 June, the limited-edition portraits from his archive include: Jennifer Aniston, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Johnny Cash, Kurt Cobain, Laura Dern, Leonardo DiCaprio, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Billie Eilish, Jerry Garcia, Tom Hanks, John Lee Hooker, Nicole Kidman, Lenny Kravitz, Kendrick Lamar, Jennifer Lopez, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Courtney Love, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Willie Nelson, Barack Obama, Brad Pitt, Keith Richards, Amy Schumer, Jerry Seinfeld, Bruce Springsteen, U2, Oprah Winfrey, and Reese Witherspoon.

100% of the proceeds of sale from each portrait will be donated to the subject’s charity of choice, with charities including The American Red Cross, America's Food Fund, the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics, New York Cares, The Prince's Trust, World Central Kitchen, UN Women, One Family LA, Direct Relief, Meals on Wheels, Community Food Bank of New Jersey, Get Us PPE, Good+ Foundation, Hidden Heroes, The Let Love Rule Foundation, Middle Way House, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS' COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund, Support + Feed, and Pieta.

Tracey Emin/Counter Editions


Tracey Emin No Time For Love (2020)

Counter Editions, a Margate, UK-based art gallery, is offering a hand-pulled lithograph by Tracey Emin called 'No Time For Love'. Created in a limited edition of 75, the lithograph is currently priced at US$7,500, with the price rising as more are bought. A quarter of the proceeds will go to the Oasis Women's Refuge which is also based in Margate. Oasis offers safe, temporary accommodation to women fleeing domestic abuse, and during the current crisis their work in more vital than ever. 

Wolfgang Tillmans/2020 Solidarity

Wolfgang Tillmans still life (Bühnenbild) 2020

Turner Prize-winning artist Wolfgang Tillmans came up with 2020Solidarity, a project organised by his foundation, Between Bridges, to help cultural and music venues, community projects, independent spaces and publications that are existentially threatened by the current crisis posed by COVID-19.

Tillmans commissioned 40 other international artists to design a series of posters, available for a limited time.The posters are unlimited editions available for a donation of US$50 each. The artist is paying for the printing and shipping of the posters to the venues so that 100% of the proceeds can be used by the beneficiaries. He said in an interview with The Guardian, that the US$50 price mark was chosen as a way of making the art affordable. “It’s a price that is a serious donation and is a similar amount of money that you might have spent at one of these spaces on a night out,” he said.

Posters available include Marlene Dumas’s portrait of James Baldwin, which supports the Siegessäule magazine in Berlin, Gillian Wearing’s All I Ever Wanted Was Love print, helping the nightclub Renate, while proceeds from sales of Mark Leckey’s print titled A Changeling Can Change will go towards the multi-purpose arts space ACUD MACHT NEU, also in Berlin.

Various Artists/Hauser & Wirth

Michael Everett, Untitled

Gallery Hauser & Wirth has organised a platform called Homegrown, dedicated to the sale of artworks by the gallery’s staff, immediate family members and freelancers. Proceeds of the sale of art on the ‘Homegrown’ platform will go directly to the participating artists, with 10 percent of gross profits going to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization as part of #artforbetter, Hauser & Wirth’s ongoing global philanthropic and charitable initiative.

‘Homegrown’ will be presented as a series of releases by 12 artists occurring every two weeks, through 18 July. The series will highlight artists from across the globe, including Sarasota, Los Angeles, New York, Berlin, Bruton, London, and Zurich. Hauser & Wirth will act as a conduit, not taking fees and connecting collectors directly with artists.