World’s Largest Painting Raises £45m for Charity

A painting created by British artist Sacha Jafri, makes it to the Guinness World Records in September (2021).

His piece ‘The Journey of Humanity’, sold for £45m to fund-raise money for children’s charities.                                                            

  • How it first began

Children from 140 countries engaged with Jafri’s appeal to portray how they felt during COVID-19 through pictures. And as a result, it influenced his work.

“I was in a deep meditative state. I looked through all the [children’s] work – I paint from the subconscious, and then whatever’s in there comes out. Nothing’s planned. There’s no sketches. There were no drawings”, he explained.

The BBC reported that the artist from London first hoped to raise $30m [£22m] and was “blown away” to have questioned it. 

At length, Jafri spent eight months completing his masterpiece. He painted ‘The Journey of Humanity’, in an abandoned ballroom at a hotel in Dubai, and it measured at 1,600 sq. m (17,000 sq. ft). 

Above all, Jafri admitted that the process had caused a severe injury to his pelvis and feet, which called for an emergency operation on his spine.

He admitted that his focus on the art piece allowed him to escape into a daydream. And as a result, he didn’t realise the damage he was causing to his body.

Jafri stated, “I was on my feet but bent down so my brush can touch the floor”. The British artist acknowledged that it was “a pretty bad position to be in for 20 hours a day.”

Jafri’s initial plan was to sell his painting in 70 parts; however, French cryptocurrency businessman Ander Abdoune bought the whole piece.


• The art piece now marks as the highest-selling art canvas by a living artist

Jafri’s big decision

He [Jafri] expressed that he was “overwhelmed” by the amount he was able to raise from one painting in just one night. 

Jafri (left) and French businessman Ander Abdoune in Atlantis Hotel, Dubai

The artist decided that the full $62m [£45m] would go to Dubai Cares, UNESCO, UNICEF and the Global Gift Foundation to help underprivileged children in countries like South Africa, Brazil, Indonesia, and India.

Jafri announced he would spend the money on healthcare and sanitation for the “poorest communities in the world”.

In addition, he hopes to connect kids to the internet so they can have access to educational platforms. He believes the internet has a significant impact on children, as the lack of access is the cause of large disparities in education.

Jafri was please with the buyer’s “beautiful vision” for his work; he stated, “his vision now is he wants to build a museum to house the painting.”

They aim to “inspire the next generation” without the “nonsense of the art world”, tainting their views by setting up a new foundation.                                                   

*Partially sourced from the BBC.

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