Damien Hirst, Takashi Murakami and Lionel Messi collaborate for Unicef
Stars of art and sport unite for the UNICEF led 1in11 Campaign
A collaboration between UNICEF, FC Barcelona and Reach Out To Asia (ROTA) has produced the 1in11 Campaign – named after the statistic that has brought it to the fore; 1 in every 11 children in the word misses out on education and thus a chance for a better future.
The campaign has enlisted to star power of Ballon d'Or runner up, FC Barcelona forward Lionel Messi and artists Damien Hirst and Takashi Murakami to collaborate on an artistic commission to create a portrait of the footballer, to be sold at a charity auction at London's Sotheby's on February 12.
Murakami has produced a characteristically psychedelic representation of Messi, as well as adorning a football with a patchwork of his signature style to match. Hirst has created a triptych of paintings representing Massi, flanked by footballs either side of him.
A roster of other artists have also contributed works to the worthy cause, for auction next month including: Etel Adnan, Yousef Ahmad, Manal al Dowayan and Jeff Koons among others.
The initial 1in11 pilot project will focus on Bangladesh, Indonesia and Nepal – where ROTA and UNICEF have already proven success and developed expertise in running educational programmes for marginalised children. The programme focusses on sport as an integrated part of education to help trigger children's engagement and potential. Serena Williams is also associated with the initiative.