Friends of Anton is organizing the first auction of contemporary photojournalism prints ever held at Christie’s on May 15th 2012 in New York to raise funds for the three young children of freelance photojournalist Anton Hammerl who was killed by the Libyan regime last year.
On April 5, 2011 South African freelance photographer Anton Hammerl went missing after coming under fire from Gaddafi loyalists. For 44 days his family was told repeatedly by the Libyan regime that he was alive and well. The truth is he was left to die in the desert. A campaign is currently underway to locate and recover his remains.
2011 was one of the worst years for photojournalism with 3 deaths in addition to Anton’s, followed by yet another in 2012. Besides raising funds for Anton’s 11, 8 and 1 year-old children the evening aims to highlight the sacrifices made by photographers – particularly freelancers – who assume great risks to bring back images to agencies, magazines, publishers and readers worldwide, often with little backup.
Signed prints by some of the world’s leading photographers – including Sebastiao Salgado, Alec Soth, Christopher Anderson, Ed Kashi, Yuri Kozyrev, Larry Fink, Lynsey Addario, Susan Meiselas, Ron Haviv, David Burnett, Joao Silva, Bruce Davidson, Greg Marinovich, Samuel Aranda, Roger Ballen and Vincent Laforet – will be auctioned off by Christie’s Senior Vice President Lydia Fenet.
"The upcoming ‘Friends of Anton’ auction at Christie’s is a milestone in contemporary photojournalism", says New York-based collector Alan L. Paris, "As a collector of photojournalism, I am particularly excited because this is the first ever auction dedicated to contemporary photojournalism. The contributors are top notch, the photos are of the highest quality, the material is fresh to the marketplace, and it is all for a very good cause."