Project: 'The Last Da Vinci'
In Autumn 2017, Christie’s approached us with a once in a lifetime project: to help them sell Leonardo da Vinci’s 'Salvator Mundi'. We had to find a way to get to the small group of people who could afford it, pique their interest, drive up the price and make the auction a sensation.
We decided to get to that handful of billionaires, by showing them what this work meant to the rest of us.
First, we renamed the painting and gave it the moniker ‘The Last da Vinci’. Then we decided to break the typical trope of over-shared artwork, and turn the camera around to show the power, meaning and reverence that a painting like this evokes in all of us.
Teaming up with Nadav Kander, we created a moving video portrait (4.14s long, John 4.14 ‘Savior of the world’) of real people and their reactions from hidden camera footage as they came to see the work on its global tour.
Before the auction we then released this film 'The Last Da Vinci':
We then took this into still form on Instagram @thelastdavinci - as people followed Christ to see themselves. Each portrait given a time stamp (Alison 12.44) in a tribute to the scripture then posted on Instagram for people to follow Christ to see themselves.
The campaign created a sensation, courted controversy and broke the way things had been done for years in the artworld - never had something like this been done to support the sale of a single artwork. On November 15th, all our efforts culminated in a record breaking night, as the painting sold for $450m at auction.
Here are some articles that explain it:
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With thanks to McQueen twins who helped on this project.