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Paint it Black

January 03, 1988|Clarke Taylor

It was the single most successful private-sector effort to date to raise funds for AIDS education and research. This according to organizers of NYC's Art Against AIDS, who claim profits of more than $2.5 million to benefit the American Foundation for AIDS Research (Amfar).

The marathon event--a six-month citywide gallery sale of works by 600 artists--included works by such 20th-Century luminaries as Picasso, Giacometti, Pollock, Nevelson and Hockney. (There were also works created especially with the AIDS epidemic in mind, including Ross Bleckner's grimly titled "16,301 + as of January 1987.")

Well, not everything was sold. Some two-thirds--valued at $12 million--went unsold. (Still on the shelf--at the event's highest price--is a $1.6-million Jackson Pollock.)

Amfar officials said that similar efforts are being planned in other cities, including L.A.

Explained Jonathan Canno, NYC businessman and Amfar trustee (he spearheaded the event): "We would adapt the concept to the way the art world functions in other cities. In L.A., this might mean exhibiting art contributed by celebrities, in a museum. In Dallas, it might mean auctioning the art in the homes of private collectors."

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