You’ve likely been waiting, with bated breath, for the answer to that eternal question: “What would it look like if Justin Bieber curated an online charity art auction?” Millions of prayers were answered today when Paddle8 launched a sale featuring 17 artworks personally selected by the pop star and his wife Hailey.
Their taste? It’s heavy with Pop-influenced street art from the likes of Fidia Falaschetti, Patch Whisky, Buff Monster, Virgil Abloh, Greg Mike, Dalek, Pablo Dona, Pref, OG Slick, Jason Zante, and Miss Zukie.
Abloh’s piece is actually two pieces. He has made something called a Clear Case (2019), which is basically a floating picture frame. “Designed and conceptualized by Virgil Abloh, the Clear Canvas is a modern interpretation of artwork display, an artwork worthy of display in and of itself. Each display case is editioned 1-100, and comes with a Certificate of Authenticity,” the auction’s website says. Inside “Clear Case” Abloh has placed House Cat (2019), a silhouette of Felix the Cat.
Other pieces include an orb made of Japanese pencil-top erasers shaped like desserts by Argentinian artist Pablo Dona; a vinyl toy of a square character with its mouth agape, holding a sign that says “Live Loud,” by Greg Mike; and a triptych of digitally painted roses on canvas by Jason Zante.
The auction is for a good cause: a portion of the proceeds will go to Inner-City Arts, an L.A.-based organization that brings arts classes to underserved children, and to LIFT Los Angeles, whose goal is to “break the cycle of poverty” by coaching underprivileged families through tough times, helping them find educational opportunities and jobs.
Justin Bieber is no stranger to art-making himself, of course. He was filmed spray painting a Canadian flag and a pot leaf on a wall in Bogotá in 2013. (Local artists immediately painted over it.) A bunch of Bieber-attributed graffiti pieces, including a toothy monster, a penguin, and a monkey with earrings popped up on the side of a building in Buenos Aires soon after. And he’s collaborated with more established talent; his 2015 album Purpose boasts a cover by Los Angeles street artist RETNA. Bieber also hosted a pop-up at Art Basel Hong Kong earlier this year, and is a collector of Takashi Murakami and KAWS. And even the rarified, blue-chip art world seems to have a soft spot for the singer; Elizabeth Peyton painted a dreamy portrait of Bieber back in 2013.
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