NEW YORK – “Let’s see if anybody gets it,” said DJ Uncle Mike as he cued up Fleetwood Mac’s “Tusk” while guests began arriving at Sotheby’s last night for a presale cocktail reception. Given that Elephants Forever was the evening auction’s title, it was likely that everybody “got it” immediately. Hosted by Owen Wilson, the sale of 22 contemporary art works sold in partnership with Maclaren to raise more than $1 million to benefit two organizations: Elephant Family, dedicated to saving endangered Asian elephants, and Space for Giants, whose mission is to preserve open habitats for African elephants.

Before Sotheby’s auctioneer Hugh Hildesley took the rostrum, there was heavy mingling among tropical plants and nature-themed artworks by Walton Ford, David Yarrow and Philip Colbert. Selfies were snapped in front of Tracey Emin’s I Forgot How Beautiful You Are, spelled out in glowing neon script, as guests enjoyed prosciutto-wrapped peach slices and cubes of grilled cheese sandwiches and quaffed sparkling wine. On hand were Bob Colacello, who arrived with pal Sydie Lansing and her dog, Cupcake, Alexandra Bowes-Lyon, Paddle8 cofounder Alex Gilkes, Elephant Family CEO Ruth Powys, Philippe Hoerle-Guggenheim and Princess Beatrice of York. And of course, Wilson, who warmly greeted such friends as dealer Tony Shafrazi, Peter Brant and his The Grand Budapest Hotel and The Darjeeling Limited costar Waris Ahluwalia.


LAUNCH SLIDESHOW FOR IMAGES OF THE EVENING