Quiogue’s Anderson Cooper and Amagansett superstar couple Gwyneth Paltrow and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin made some serious art purchases at Sean Penn‘s 3rd annual Help Haiti Home Gala and Auction Benefit in Beverly Hills over the weekend.
Cooper scored a $1.4 million Jeff Koons sculpture, though the CNN newsman has yet to see exactly what he purchased. The work — yet to be made — will be created using a collection of some 65 old firearms belonging to Penn. With Koons’ talent for conceptual sculpture out of quirky objects, Cooper should end up with a “killer” piece! His boyfriend Benjamin Maisani was totally shocked by the buy, but Cooper’s wallet may have been especially open at this event because of his experiences covering the devastation after Haiti’s 2010 earthquake. During that time, he famously saved a bleeding Haitian child from violent looters, and it was captured on film.
It probably didn’t hurt that a certain fellow beautiful Hamptonite and art lover was egging Cooper on… “During the auction, Gwyneth Paltrow was screaming at Anderson to go for it!” one eyewitness told People magazine.
Doing their part, Paltrow and Martin bought Banksy’s “Balloon Heart” print for $650,000 following a bidding war with Hamptons visitor Chelsea Handler. The piece by Martin’s countryman features a version of the red heart balloon with Band-Aids that Banksy painted on a Brooklyn wall during his NYC residency in October, but this one is on wood. Along with landing the big art prize, Paltrow and Martin hobnobbed with other celebs, such as Goldie Hawn, Emma Thompson and her daughter Gaia Wise, and Julie Roberts and her hubby Danny Moder. Paltrow’s Anglophile cred was once again clearly evident with her choice to buy the British art darling’s work, her British husband on her arm and her fabulous Burberry dress.
Other hotly contested auction lots included a $200,000 day with Hamptonite and former president Bill Clinton and Penn’s El Camino, which sold for a whopping $100,000. The event raised over $6 million for Penn’s Haiti relief organization J/P HRO, which has worked to help Haitians recover following the 2010 earthquake with healthcare, education, community development, housing and more. A portion of the funds will also be used to help support the Philippines in their typhoon recovery efforts.
Penn’s newly announced girlfriend Charlize Theron, Piers Morgan (who lost against Cooper for the Koons), Thor actor Chris Hemsworth and his wife Elsa Pataky, Bette Midler, Usher, Sarah Silverman, David Spade and a solo Michael Douglas were also in attendance, and U2 closed the night with a surprise performance. Hamptonite and superstar DJ Samantha Ronson provided tunes for Penn’s after party, though Penn and Theron reportedly left earlier than many other revelers.