WISHFUL THINKING: Make-a-Wish Foundation and Cartier kicked off a weeklong celebration of art around Frieze Art Fair in London, which opens on Thursday, with a gala and auction aimed at raising money for the children’s charity.
Cartier, the sole partner of the event, which took place at the Dorchester hotel, worked with the charity’s patron Batia Ofer who asked a number of artists including Jeff Koons, Tracey Emin, Polly Morgan, Mat Collishaw and Joshua Raz, to donate specially created works for the event. The art on display aimed to capture the dreams of children who are fighting life-threatening diseases. Koons created limited-edition balloon animal sculptures, while Emin drew an abstract sketch showcasing a child on a horse.
Conducted by the auctioneer Henry Wyndham, the auction raised 2.7 million pounds, surpassing the initial 1.5 million pound aim set by Ofer.
“I am so overwhelmed by the response of everybody I have approached for help in getting this idea off the ground,” said Ofer. “At Make-a-Wish, we get so many more requests from families and children than we are able to fulfill. Now, with the money we have raised (which is far more than I ever dared hope), Make-a-Wish will be able to help bring joy to so many more children with life-threatening conditions.”
The event drew leading members of the art world such as Larry Gagosian and Bernard and Almine Ruiz-Picasso, as well as business executives including Anton Rupert, the son of Johann Rupert, founder of Compagnie Financière Richemont, which owns Cartier. Earlier this month, the younger Rupert was part of a new generation of managers joining Richemont’s board.
As London gears up for the opening of Frieze, more brands are getting in on the action. Later in the week, Christopher Kane will host an event at his Mount Street boutique, which will celebrate the work of the late artist Ionel Talpazan, Nicholas Kirkwood will be creating a bespoke piece of installation art with the Lorcan O’Neill gallery, while Jacopo Etro has teamed with artist Dan Rees for an in-store exhibition called “Notes From a Misunderstood Weed.”