British artist Damien Hirst and rock star/activist Bono teamed up to stage an unprecedented art auction to raise money for HIV/AIDS relief in Africa.
Inspired by Bono's "Red" campaign, Hirst asked 100 of the world's leading artists to contribute works to the auction. Last night, at Sotheby's in New York, the star-studded auction raised $42.5 million.
"It went well beyond what anyone could have hoped…I've been a fan of Damien's...and I just think there's great vision in him and in his work, but I couldn't have anticipated that these artists would come in behind him," Bono told ABC News Correspondent Juju Chang earlier this week.
Tune in to "Good Morning America Weekend" this Saturday to watch the full interview with Bono and Hirst.
Man on a Mission
To know Bono is to be able to answer the question, why? Why does a rock star of his stature spend most of his time pushing for results in Africa? It isn't for the notoriety. He's got that. It's not for the money or fame. He's got that too.
Bono truly believes that what he is popularizing will change the world, by changing how we communicate with each other — and give those dying, an estimated 6 million a year, a fighting chance at life. It's that simple.
On a rainy Wednesday in New York City, Bono and Hirst sat down with Juju Chang, in front of ABC News' cameras, surrounded by art work that resonates at first glance.
As the lights glared and the tape rolled, Bono and Hirst talked about their latest project — an art auction like none other, inspired by the color red. All the proceeds will go to the United Nations Foundation to support HIV/AIDS relief programs in Africa, conducted by The Global Fund.
Bono, not surprisingly plugged in to everything, was not one to hold back.
Bono: "The big word with this presidential campaign is change. All candidates talking about change, talking about this new America that's gonna happen next year, but I'm telling you I am seeing that new America: people wearing the white bands, One campaigns, people who shop Red. That new America is already here in some courses, and the change that people are talking about actually, the president is going to see in Africa, it's a changed continent because of that new America, that's what I'm excited about."
This weekend President George W. Bush departs for Africa to visit Benin, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ghana and Liberia. The trip will be an opportunity for the president to review first-hand the progress made in the fight against HIV/AIDS and malaria. The United States has spent billions on programs fighting HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases.
Bono: "Believe me, there will be a moment when there will be no HIV/Aids, there will be a moment that it won't be acceptable that a kid will die for lack of food in his belly, that day is coming…"
Chang : "If you weren't a rock star, would we be paying attention, would the world be paying attention?"
Bono: "You use what you've got."
Among the art work auctioned off Thursday night was a piece by Hirst himself, "Where There's A Will, There's A Way," a work filled with antiretroviral drugs for the treatment of HIV, which sold for $7.15 million.
The event also set sale records for 17 artists, including Howard Hodgkin, Marc Quinn and Keith Tyson, the auction house said.
"Tonight we got serious about love, and not just the love of art, but the love of our brothers and sisters suffering from AIDS in the poorest places on the planet," Bono said in a Sotheby's release.
You can see much more of the interview with Bono and Hirst Saturday on "Good Morning America Weekend." Check your local listings for times.
The Associated Press contributed reporting to this story.