When the pandemic hit in mid-March, the world of art and photography was one of the many institutions rocked by newly implemented safety measures, with thousands of galleries and events shutting down due to social distancing protocol. However, creators learned to adapt, consuming and distributing work virtually. As 2020 continues its tumultuous track, these digital platforms have become sites for artists and photographers to utilize the high revenue, actionable nature of their craft to enact social change and benefit those in need.
Since March, a number of creative collectives, artistic initiatives, and other charity organizations have joined forces with photographers, arranging print sales and donating proceeds towards nonprofits, from BLM collectives to COVID-19 relief funds to emergency aid for the recent tragedy in Beirut. Additionally, the use of photography in tandem with charity adds an extra layer of emotion and power, with artists utilizing their creative lens to express relevant world-views. Many organizations have also used these times to provide opportunity by uplifting minority photographers and creatives. On World Photo Day, CR highlights various print auctions and artistic collaborations from 2020 thus far, showing the medium’s power to enact social change.
For the Love of Beirut
On August 4, Beirut was hit with two major explosions, a disaster that has devastated the capital and displaced, injured, and killed an insurmountable amount of people. In response, creative platform Ruwa and Gulf Photo Plus partnered with the Beirut Center for Photography to launch For the Love of Beirut, a fundraising initiative comprised of both independent Lebanese artists and a range of global contributors. Over 60 prints are available for worldwide dispatch until August 26, with 100 percent of the proceeds going towards the Lebanese Red Cross.
Art Relief for Beirut
Lebanese-born artist Walid Raad, owner of the Brussels nonprofit Mophradat, launched Art Relief for Beirut, a fundraising initiative aiding Lebanese artists and art organizations affected by the tragic explosion. According to the nonprofit’s website, the collected revenue will go towards funding “opportunities for artists from the Arab world.” Pieces for sale are highlighted on the organization’s Instagram page, and 100 percent of the profits will be donated to a variety of art-based creators and organizations.
Reframing the Future
In light of the worldwide uprising of the Black Lives Matter movement in late May, Reframing the Future, a creative collective of over 70 artists, utilized its artistic platform to gather donations in support of National Bail Out and the Marsha P. Johnson Institution. Photographs and graphics for sale highlighted artists of color, and in the initiative’s total runtime from June 16th-30th, a total of 0,000 was raised and split between the two designated organizations.
The Earth Issue Freedom Fundraiser
The Earth Issue, a creative collective of artists and professionals that intertwine fine art and environmentalism, launched a print fundraiser in response to George Floyd’s murder and the accompanying global protests. Over 300 photographers and artists donated work to the fundraiser, and over 0,000 was raised and donated to The George Floyd Bail Fund, as well as a number of other organizations benefiting indigenous and Black communities.
See In Black
The Black photography collective See In Black launched on Junteenth of this year, with a mission to sell prints from Black artists such as Micaiah Carter, Quil Lemons, Joshua Kissi, and Dani Kwateng. See in Black’s mission is rooted in its name: a desire for Black individuals to be given the opportunity to narrate their own stories and individual perceptions behind the lens. According to its official statement, funds raised were placed towards uplifting and supporting five key pillars of Black advancement: civil rights, education/arts, intersectionality, community building, and criminal justice reform. Volume 001, titled Black in America, came to a close on July 3, but according to the organization’s Instagram, “this is just the beginning.”
The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts
British auction house Christie’s looked to Andy Warhol when enhancing its spring sales schedule. In partnership with the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Christie’s opened bidding on 60 unique photographs of the late artist, all of which emulated “the splendor of the outdoors and the simple pleasures associated with human interaction.” From April 28 to May 6, proceeds from the Warhol sale benefited the Warhol Foundation’s emergency artist relief fund, uplifting struggling artists during the pandemic.
Iconic photographs of Kurt Cobain, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Billie Eilish, and more also graced the Christie’s auction list in late May. Editorial photographer Mark Seliger teamed up with the auction house for the RADArt4AID campaign, globally auctioning 25 limited-edition photo prints that were favorites from the photographer’s collections of the past 30 years. “Art and creativity as a source of love, introspection, and joy have persevered through every tragedy we’ve faced together,” Seliger said. “And I trust they will continue to inspire us as we work through this pandemic.”
International photographic cooperative Magnum Photos reframed its early April photo auction in light of the pandemic, donating 50 percent of the event’s proceeds to the Médecins Sans Frontières COVID-19 Emergency Response. The photography agency, whose biannual square prints sale is massively anticipated for its high-quality, renowned photos, themed this year’s event around the concept of Turning Points, in tandem with the strange and unexpected emergence of the 2020 pandemic.
Pictures for Elmhurst
New York was hit the hardest at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, but many of the city’s photographers used their platform to assist in raising funds for hospitals in need. Pictures for Elmhurst, which launched on April 10 and ran until April 20th, partnered with NYC-based photographers to sell prints, with proceeds going towards the city’s busiest COVID-19 treatment center, Elmhurst Hospital in Queens. Featured works included a coveted Drew Jarrett photo of Kate Moss in the ‘90s, a picture of Chloë Sevigny from Brianna Capozzi, and snapshots from Tyler Mitchell, Daniel Shea, and more. In total, the initiative managed to raise an impressive ,380,000 for the Elmhurst Hospital, with the medical center stating that “lives will be saved and staff will be supported through this work.”END
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createdAt:Tue, 11 Aug 2020 21:11:22 +0000