Burning Man Project And Sotheby’s Celebrate Burning Man Culture And Community

Charitable Auction Will Offer Unique Artwork and Experiences to Benefit Burning Man Project and Participating Artists.

Burning Man Project, the nonprofit that produces the Burning Man event in Black Rock City, and Sotheby’s recently announced their collaboration on a Fall 2021 charitable online auction, public exhibition, and event series. Boundless Space… The Possibilities of Burning Man will introduce fresh audiences to the remarkable creativity that has emerged from Burning Man culture, opening up new opportunities for cross-pollination and collaboration between two global communities of artists, art lovers, and patrons.

The sale will offer eclectic, genre-defying artworks and experiences from artists and collectors within and adjacent to the global Burning Man community, with bidding on some lots starting at no minimum to ensure that the broadest possible audience can participate. An accompanying public exhibition hosted at Sotheby’s New York will immerse visitors in the world of Burning Man and participating artists through installations, art activation, and events co-created by the Burning Man community.

Burning Man Project And Sotheby's Celebrate Burning Man Culture And Community

Up for auction will be works contributed by Burning Man artists, community members, and culturally adjacent artists and collectors — these will include sculptures, collectibles, costumes, mutant vehicles, and NFT’s. In alignment with both organizations’ commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and in the spirit of Burning Man’s commitment to Radical Inclusion, Boundless Space… The Possibilities of Burning Man is fostering new relationships by placing an emphasis on inviting work by Black, Indigenous, and Persons of Color (BIPOC) artists.

Boundless Space… The Possibilities of Burning Man is a unique opportunity to benefit participating artists while raising funds for Burning Man Project. The auction will provide crucial funds to help ensure the nonprofit’s long-term commitment to facilitating and extending the culture that has issued from Black Rock City into the larger world. Funds will directly support Burning Man Project’s Art and Civic Engagement programs, which nurture a global spectrum of projects and partnerships inspired by the art and community of the Burning Man event in Black Rock City and beyond.

All are invited to explore the auction’s online catalogue, which will be available at Sothebys.com in early September. The auction will be open for bidding in early October 2021, with a selection of the works offered in the auction on public view at Sotheby’s in New York, along with exciting virtual and in-person art activations October 2-7, 2021.

Burning Man art has been an emergent and provocative force for more than three decades. In 2018 Burning Man artists and creators received global recognition with No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man, a touring exhibit that broke attendance records at all three museums — the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC; Cincinnati Art Museum; and Oakland Museum of California.

Burning Man Project’s Director of Creative Initiatives, Kim Cook, is leading this effort and states, “We see this partnership as an opportunity to be as expansive as possible — with real attention paid to how this can benefit the participating creatives while raising funds for Burning Man Project. With this initiative, the auction catalogue becomes an invitation to explore works by artists who are well known, artists who are young and emerging on the scene, creators and performance artists, all with a global perspective that traverses boundaries and ignites the imagination.”

Artist, hip hop pioneer, and Burning Man Project board member Fab 5 Freddy is to thank for seeding this idea. Burning Man Project was seeking creative ways to raise income and generate opportunities for artists. During the Sotheby’s 2020 Hip Hop auction, Fab proposed the idea of a charitable auction for the Burning Man Project to Sotheby’s CEO Charles F. Stewart. Subsequent conversations resulted in the co-creation of this groundbreaking collaboration between powerhouses in the global art world.

“The amazing art and DIY creativity that fills the Burning Man experience is what made and still makes the biggest impact on me,” Fab 5 Freddy said. “It’s a rare energy and spirit Burners have that reminds me of the downtown scene in New York in the ’80s. As a recent Burning Man Project board member, keeping it all going and making it better has been our focus. I’m happy I was able to be a spark in helping make this event become a reality.”

Scott Niichel, Sotheby’s Co-Head of Impressionist & Modern Art in New York, commented: “This fall, we will channel the magic of Burning Man that has for decades inspired countless people from around the world by bringing a taste of the experience direct from BRC (Black Rock City, Nevada) to NYC in the form of a singular auction and installation event series. In keeping with Burning Man’s ethos, this sale and exhibition will place focus on artists and public engagement and will adopt the approach to creativity that forms the bedrock of the Burning Man Project. We look forward to sharing full details in due course, and to welcoming everyone to join in on the experience later this year.”

To select works for the auction, the Burning Man Project is working with a committee of esteemed community members, artists, and curators, chosen for their diversity, global perspective, and knowledge of the contemporary art world. 

Auction Committee Members 

●    Fab 5 Freddy, Artist
●    Ana Roth, Art Enthusiast
●    Arthur Roger, Arthur Roger Gallery
●    Dan Weeks, NFT Specialist
●    Edgar Sanchez, Todo Es Uno
●    Jayson Jackson, Producer
●    Patrice Mackey, Burning Man Project Department Mutant Vehicles
●    Philippe Demers, MASSIVart
●    Thomas Rom, Art Advisor
●    Yvonne Force Villareal, Culture Corps, Founding Partner; Art Production Fund, Co-Founder 

Nominators and Connectors

●    Alla Goldshteyn, Romain Tortevoix, & Jonathan Saada, Goldshteyn-Saatort Gallery
●    Arcadi Poch Macias, Vogelkop
●    Arturo Mizrahi, Maia Contemporary
●    David Norr, James Cohan Gallery
●    Honey Al Sayed, Honey&
●    Franklin Sirmans, Pérez Art Museum Miami
●    L Stockhausen, Stockhausen
●    Maynard Monrow, Artist & Curator
●    Meredith Winner & Shannon Riley, Building 180
●    Neil Barclay, President, Charles H. Wright African American History Museum
●    Ru Hockley, Whitney Museum of American Art


Sotheby’s has been uniting collectors with world-class works of art since 1744. Sotheby’s became the first international auction house when it expanded from London to New York (1955), the first to conduct sales in Hong Kong (1973), India (1992) and France (2001), and the first international fine art auction house in China (2012). Today, Sotheby’s has a global network of 80 offices in 40 countries and presents auctions in 10 different salesrooms, including New York, London, Hong Kong and Paris. Sotheby’s offers collectors the resources of Sotheby’s Financial Services, the world’s only full-service art financing company, as well as the collection, artist, estate & foundation advisory services of its subsidiary, Art Agency, Partners. Sotheby’s also presents private sale opportunities in more than 70 categories, including S|2, the gallery arm of Sotheby's Global Fine Art Division, and three retail businesses: Sotheby’s Wine, Sotheby’s Diamonds, and Sotheby’s Home, the online marketplace for interior design.