The world’s largest painting, created by British artist Sacha Jafri, has sold for £ 45m to raise funds for charities.
Jafri spent eight months painting 1,600 sq (17,000 sq ft) masterpieces in a vacant hotel room in Dubai.
One Of The Most Expensive Paintings
He had planned to sell it in 70 shares, but French cryptocurrency businessman Andre Abdoune bought it all.
The price makes it one of the most expensive paintings ever sold at auction by a live artist.
Jafri said the full $ 62m (£ 45m) would go to the Dubai Cares, Unicef, Unesco and the Global Gift Foundation to help disadvantaged children in countries such as Brazil, India, Indonesia and South Africa.
The 44-year-old London artist originally hoped to raise $ 30m (£ 22m). He told BBC News he was “blown away” by doubling that.
“I was really overwhelmed by what happened – to raise that amount of money from one painting in one night,” he said.
Jafri started by putting out an appeal for children to send him their pictures representing how they felt during the pandemic. He got responses from 140 countries, which he used for inspiration, he said.
“I was in a deep meditative state. I looked through all the [children’s] work – I paint from the subconscious, and then whatever’s in there comes out. Nothing’s planned. There’s no sketches. There were no drawings.
“I was literally pouring paint, and then putting another layer on top and another layer, another layer, another layer, just feeling my way through it until something magical happened.”
Guinness World Record
In September, Guinness World Records saw it as the largest piece of art canvas ever made.
Jafri worked alone while the Atlantis hotel was closed to guests, and needed emergency surgery on his spine during the operation, as well as injuries to his waist and feet.
The Journey Of Humanity
“I was on my feet but bent right down so my brush can touch the floor,” he explained. “So that’s a pretty bad position to be in for 20 hours a day. I was in a trance, so I didn’t realise the damage I was doing to my body.”
The painting, entitled The Journey of Humanity, was sold in Dubai on Monday.
Jafri said the money would be used to provide health care and sanitation for “the poorest communities in the world” and to connect them to the internet so that children can access educational facilities. “The biggest divide right now is those who have internet and those who don’t,” he said.