Celebrity and entrepreneur Kim Kardashian’s Hail Mary efforts to score the winning bid for a piece by George Condo came up short on Saturday (30 September), when American football legend Tom Brady made a winning play for the work on paper at a charity auction. The sale was part of a fundraising gala at the Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey, to fund Reform Alliance, an organisation that supports efforts to reform the US criminal-justice system.
The evening’s entire fundraising take came out to $24m, thanks in part to a celebrity blackjack tournament and the sale of a rare watch that previously belonged to Jay-Z. Art sales at the gala brought in a total of $5.1m. In addition to Condo’s large work on paper, Standing Female Figure, which Brady won with a $2m bid, a painting by Rashid Johnson, Fireflies, sold for $1.1m to entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk.
Both Condo and Johnson were in attendance. Other guests included the rappers Travis Scott, Lil' Kim, Lil Durk, Fat Joe, Jay-Z (a founding partner in the organisation) and Meek Mill (co-chair of its board), actors Matthew McConaughey, Tiffany Haddish and Kevin Hart, and star athletes Jayson Tatum, Tobias Harris and Alex Rodriguez.
And while Kardashian did not win the existing work by Condo, the artist agreed on the spot to make a commissioned work for her, scoring another $2m for Reform Alliance in the process. (Notably, Kardashian’s ex-husband, the artist formerly known as Kanye West who now goes simply by Ye, commissioned a work by Condo for the cover of one of his most celebrated albums, 2010’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.)
The $2m commission from Condo is hardly Kardashian's only recent auction trophy. In January, she was revealed as the buyer of a rare amethyst cross previously worn by Princess Diana, winning it for £163,800 (including fees) at a Sotheby's sale.