Leo DiCaprio Named One of the World's Top Art Collectors
On the heels of Forbes’s annual Celebrity 100 list, which crowned Katy Perry the world’s highest-paid female star, ArtNews published its annual Top 200 Collectors list, a roundup of the wealthiest art collectors around the globe. This year Leonardo DiCaprio made his debut on the list, and while this may seem shocking to most of his admiring fans, DiCaprio has been immersed in the art world since childhood. His father, an avant-garde comic book illustrator, introduced DiCaprio to his artist friends in the 1970s and 1980s. The actor was even named after Leonardo da Vinci! And he has been a regular paparazzi favourite at Art Basel in Switzerland and Miami as well as Venice’s La Biennale.
Dicaprio really got his “collecting beak wet” in the SoHo gallery scene in New York, after his 1996 hit Romeo + Juliet. One of his first high-profile purchases was a drawing by Brooklyn-based artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. “It’s fascinating to see an artist come out of nowhere and suddenly get so much bidding around them,” DiCaprio told The Wall Street Journal. “Basquiat is one of them. … It’s fun to see the world pick the next ‘chosen one.’”
It seems the art world has chosen DiCaprio as its golden boy. The actor teamed up with Christie’s to organise a charity auction in 2013. His one-night event raised $38.8 million and set new sales records for 13 artists. The Wolf of Wall Street star is also an active member of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He has co-chaired its annual Art + Film Gala, continues to help produce film-related exhibitions, and is donating a John Gerrard installation to the museum.
DiCaprio may not have an Oscar yet, but he’s certainly a lauded lion in the art world.
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