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Celebrity portraits including Barack Obama and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s to be auctioned for COVID-19 relief

Prominent celebrity photographer Mark Seliger has donated 25 limited-edition prints that are set to be auctioned off to raise money for coronavirus relief, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Seliger is working with Los Angeles advocacy group RAD, or Red Carpet Advocacy, and Christie’s auction house, according to the outlet. The prints will be auctioned as part of a campaign named RADArt4Aid between May 28 and June 12.

The prints feature celebrities including former President Barack Obama, Brad Pitt, Bruce Springsteen, Jennifer Lopez, Willie Nelson, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Tom Hanks, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and more. 

The celebrities chose which charity will receive funds from the sale of their portrait. Pitt picked Meals on Wheels, while Springsteen chose Community FoodBank of New Jersey. Lopez’s portrait will help fund donations to America’s Food Fund, while both Obama and Nelson chose World Central Kitchen, according to the Times. 

“It definitely felt collaborative,” Seliger said of the fundraiser.

“As a photographer, what you have is your archive, that’s your keepsake. Having an inventory of work, this felt like something I could do immediately.” 

The portraits feature some of their subjects at pivotal times in their careers. For example, Obama’s portrait shows only the back of his head and shoulders, and it was taken after the former president’s first 100 days in office. 

“This photograph — I had a small, white backdrop set up in the Rose Garden — I think it’s just a very unique moment where you can actually feel a sense of pensiveness. It’s not that guarded smile that someone gives you. It’s a moment of isolation and pensiveness that is very grounded in being a true leader,” Seliger said of the photo, the LA Times reported.

Tags #coronavirus Barack Obama

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