Damien Hirst Audi A1 Sells for $524,000

The 2011 Audi A1 hatchback, with its accessible curves and viral-video associations with Justin Timberlake, does not scream “enfant terrible,” nor does it inspire debate on the limits of abstract expressionism.

A visit to the Gloucestershire, England, studios of the art-world provocateur Damien Hirst, however, can rectify that.

Mr. Hirst is best known for his mixed-media piece “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living,” for which a tiger shark was suspended in formaldehyde within a glass vitrine.

He was asked to paint an A1 for the annual charity fund-raiser of the singer and activist Elton John and his partner, David Furnish. The event,  the White Tie and Tiara Ball, was held June 24 in England, and it raised nearly $8.5 million for AIDS research and treatment, with the Hirst A1 bringing $524,000.

In a statement, Mr. John said of Mr. Hirst’s work, “This is one of the most exciting auction items we have ever had for White Tie.” The buyer’s identity has not been disclosed.

Audi has sponsored the Elton John AIDS Foundation ball for eight years, having made previous auction donations, but never anything so bespoke as the Hirst A1.

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