Blind artist's Volvo S60 painting highest eBay charity price ever
Turkish artist Esref Armagan's interpretation of the new Volvo S60 was recently auctioned on eBay. After 52 bids were submitted, it was finally sold for 3050 dollars. That's the highest price an art piece is sold for on eBay for the benefit of a charity. The entire proceeds will go to a Canadian charity, the World Blind Union.
The purchaser was a Volvo dealer in Quebec, Canada.
"We were really surprised that a dealership from our own Volvo Network bought the painting", says Lukas Dohle, head of Live Communication and Social Media at Volvo Cars in Sweden.
"I'm really impressed with the artist, and with the video, which we couldn't stop watching. I figured it would be good for a dealer to have it, and as long as it was a dealer, I thought it might as well be me," says Rachel Léonard, General Director of Volvo de Quebéc.
There was immense interest in acquiring Esref Armagan's free interpretation of the Volvo S60 on eBay.
"We were thrilled that the Volvo Blind Preview art piece sold as well as it did. This is the highest price we have ever sold an art piece for on eBay for the benefit of a charity. We believe its success was due to the uniqueness of the piece and also the fact that the bidders knew the World Blind Union stood to benefit," says Eric Gazin, President of Auction Cause, the company organising the auction on behalf of the Volvo Car Corporation.
The bidding started on December 7 and the first offer was a modest 20 dollars. 17 people participated, all in all. 11,300 people visited the site to watch the auction. 5800 of them found their way to the auction via other websites.
A few minutes before the auction closed, the final bid came from Volvo De Québec - 3050 dollars (about 23,000 Swedish kronor or 2135 euros).
Invited this autumn
It was earlier this autumn that the blind Turkish artist was invited to Volvo Cars' design studio in Göteborg, Sweden, where he became the first ever outsider to be allowed to examine Volvo's forthcoming model, the new Volvo S60, and to then recreate it on canvas.
Over the years, Esref Armagan has acquired a reputation for his unique skill in capturing perspective, colour and form despite his handicap. His work has amazed researchers the world over.
Esref Armagan's work was documented in a film entitled "The Blind Preview", which can be watched on Volvo Cars' own page on Facebook and elsewhere. The address is www.facebook.com/volvo
The film, which was also distributed via blogs, YouTube and the traditional media, has become a major success the world over.
3 050 dollars to blind organisation
The auction on eBay - www.ebay.com/volvo - was open for ten days, between December 7 and 17. The entire proceedings, 3050 dollars, will be going directly to the World Blind Union. This is an organisation based in Canada but it represents more than 150 million blind and impaired-vision people in 177 member countries.
The new Volvo S60 will have its premiere unveiling at the Geneva motor show in Switzerland in early March next year.
Apart from Esref Armagan's interpretation, a preliminary photograph of the car has been distributed to media the world over. The car's sculpted, dynamic shape has already aroused strong, positive responses among many people.