Indirectly, of course. Sir Elton – whose Elton John AIDS Foundation has been helping fight the worldwide battle against HIV and provided comfort for those suffering from the disease for 20 years now – is, again, helping sell off some art in the name of his favorite cause. The second EJAF Photography Portfolio (which has never been exhibited before), featuring signed and numbered prints by such renowned artists as David LaChapelle, Ed Ruscha, Alex Prager, Tina Barney, Candida Höfer, Hedi Slimane, and others – will be on view at the Marian Goodman Gallery starting February 1.
Photo: Courtesy of Hedi Slimane and Almine Rech Gallery, Brussels.
Of course, getting such a star-studded cast of shutterbugs isn't that hard when you're so beloved in the worlds of art, music, and fashion and the moolah to back up your personal tastes. Said John, "I have had the great pleasure of collecting the works of the artists represented in this portfolio for many years."
Photo: © 2011 Candida Höfer / VG Bild-Kunst, Courtesy of Candida Höfer.
As with the inaugural offering, this photoset includes a sharp portrait of the Rocket Man himself. “For our first Photography Portfolio," says Sir Elton, "I was absolutely thrilled that artist Juergen Teller asked to take a portrait of me for the collection. Imagine my surprise and delight when artist Rineke Dijkstra made the same request for the second Photography Portfolio! It was tremendous fun and a great honor to work with both of these superb artists, and I am incredibly grateful to both of them for generously supporting EJAF’s work in such a unique and personal manner."
Dijkstra seems to have equal respect for his subject, "For this project of the EJAF Photography Portfolio I wanted to produce something special. It was not difficult to decide who should be the subject of my photograph. Elton John is not only a great musician, but he is also doing such important work with his Foundation. I admire his strong commitment and dedication in the fight against HIV/AIDS.”
Photo: Courtesy of Rineke Dijkstra and Marian Goodman, New York, Paris.
Each 20" x 24" portfolio of 10 original photographs will sell for $25,000, with all proceeds supporting the efforts of the EJAF. If that sounds like, a little expensive, consider the stakes. EJAF board chairman and Elton's hubby, David Furnish, notes, “Unfortunately, while breakthroughs are being made in scientific research, breakdowns are occurring in the response to the AIDS crisis. State and federal governments are cutting back support for important programs that help those in need. This growing gap is being addressed by the Elton John AIDS Foundation through its strategic grant-making initiatives supporting innovative, front-line programs responding to the needs of marginalized and vulnerable people most at-risk of HIV infection." A few grand in exchange for some wonderful art supporting something so important doesn't seem like that much now, does it?
Photo: Courtesy of Tina Barney and Janet Borden Inc., New York.