Celeb Auction to Support HIV Programs

A Valentine’s Day auction of contemporary works donated by some of the world’s leading artists will benefit HIV/AIDS relief programs in Africa.

Sotheby’s auction house has joined with Gagosian Gallery in Chelsea, U2’s Bono and Damien Hirst in organizing the charity auction.

More than 100 artworks, all inspired by the color red, will be exhibited Feb. 4-13 at the gallery. The sale is set for Feb. 14, 2008.

Among the contributing artists: Hirst, Jeff Koons, Jasper Johns, Matthew Barney, Georg Baselitz, Cecily Brown and Douglas Gordon.

The sale’s proceeds — estimated at more than $40 million — will go to the United Nations Foundation to support HIV/AIDS relief programs in Africa conducted by The Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, Sotheby’s said Wednesday.