Halsey has never been one of those celebrities that shies away from discussing politics so as not to alienate potential fans. They’ve supported Democratic political candidates and have always been very outspoken on the progressive side of various issues. (And who can forget her Women’s March poem from 2018.) Even before her recent Vogue op-ed in support of abortion rights, there was no question about where she stood on the issue. Now, Halsey is auctioning off five paintings through Sotheby’s and will donate the proceeds of the sales to abortion funds.
Halsey is selling their paintings for a cause they’re passionate about.
On Monday, the 27-year-old singer-songwriter announced they’re auctioning off five paintings created onstage during their recently wrapped Love and Power Tour via Sotheby’s and donating the proceeds to the National Network of Abortions, which supports abortion funds across the United States.
The auction follows the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent reversal of Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision that protected the right to abortion in every state, which Halsey’s remained vocal about since its announcement in June.
Each painting available through Sotheby’s was created by Halsey in three minutes while performing a song onstage during recent concerts in Detroit; Boston; Nashville, Tennessee; Gulf Shores, Alabama; and Portland, Oregon.
The artworks, which feature faces outlined in black ink and adorned with primary colors, are currently on display at Sotheby’s New York gallery, per the company’s Instagram. Bidding began online on July 9 with a starting bid of $5,000 as part of the organization’s upcoming Contemporary Discoveries auction, which closes July 19.
Other artists featured in Sotheby’s Contemporary Discoveries auction include Hugh Steers, Kara Walker, Wolf Kahn, Maureen Gallace, Andy Denzler and Lucian Freud.
Earlier this month, Halsey penned an open letter published in Vogue and said abortion “saved my life.”
When news of the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade, which had been in effect since 1973, broke last month, Halsey wrote on Twitter that they felt “defeated” by the ruling.
The decision lets individual states decide whether to allow abortions and will likely lead to all but total bans on the procedure in nearly half of the country.
“I have been advocating for abortion, reproductive rights, and bodily integrity for as long as I’ve had a platform and I’m running out of ways to word and frame the severity of the impact that fundamentalism has on our country,” they wrote at the time. “I know some of you look to my page for information or guidance but I need a little bit of time to speak to some people with more authority and experience than me and gather my thoughts. I don’t want to just contribute to antagonistic noise.”
At recent concerts since the SCOTUS decision, Halsey has been incorporating it into her set and also told fans if they didn’t support abortion rights they could leave. Auctioning these paintings is a cool and unique way to donate and support the cause. I knew Halsey was artsy and creative beyond songwriting and music — she published a book of poems and has posted pictures related to painting and other creative endeavors — but I don’t think I’ve ever seen her work. It’s really good. When I saw the headline, I assumed that they were pulling paintings from their archives, but they actually did these five paintings on stage during their tour specifically for this purpose. That’s such a cool idea and will make the paintings feel extra special for whoever ultimately wins the auction. Also, they’re in very good company with the other artists featured in the auction. Good for Halsey for being so openly supportive and donating and raising awareness. I didn’t intend to be shady in a story about a good thing, but I’d be remiss not to mention that when I was re-watching Halsey’s Women’s March poem, the Marilyn Manson tattoo jumped to mind. Despite her wardrobe, it seems like she’s taking care not to be photographed from that angle and I really hope she’s getting that thing removed because it’s definitely at odds with the rest of her image/activism.