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  • Jamie Alarian

Brendan Murphy Raises $198,000 at Star Studded Desert Smash Charity Auction

Palm Desert, CA – March 11, 2014 – Desert Smash came back strong in its 10th year last week, delivering a star-studded blow out full of tennis, golf, and entertainment at La Quinta Resort and Club. Hosted by Will Ferrell, celebrities and star athletes turned out to raise money for Cancer for College, a 501c3 organization that helps cancer survivors pay for college.

The event kicked off on Saturday, March 1 at the exclusive Bighorn Golf Club, where a crowd of 200 gathered together for a live charity auction. Ferrell gave a heartfelt interview of his former college roommate, cancer survivor Craig Pollard and then kicked off a live auction of two separate limited edition prints by contemporary painter Brendan Murphy. Done in Murphy’s signature style of portraiture, the 30×40 inch limited edition prints featured imagery of Will Ferrell and Novak Djokovic, each signed by the artist and the celebrity that they featured.

Kicking off the auction strong – one buyer immediately purchased 10 prints at 2,000 each, and challenged the crowd to show him up. Bighorn Club members didn’t disappoint, quickly purchasing three more prints at $2500 each. In addition, a private collector bid $15,000 for the original Will Ferrell piece signed and dated by both Murphy and Ferrell. Things really heated up as the auctioneer received a call from Daryl Katz, owner of the NHL Edmonton oilers, who donated 100k to purchase the original piece of Djokovic, Nole III, as well as two separate prints of both Ferrell and Djokovic – raising a total of $142,500 in a matter of minutes.

But the festivities didn’t stop there, as March 3-4 carried out Desert Smash’s main events over at La Quinta Resort and Club. Failing to disappoint, Novak Djokovic donned a curly red wig and Mardi Gras beads, teaming up with Ferrell for a match against two-time Oscar winner Kevin Spacey and Australian Champion Stan Wawarinka. In addition, the Desert Smash Pro/Celebrity-Am Tennis tournament proved to be a hit – as amateurs paid to play against celebrity players and WTA/ATP Tour Pros such as Rebel Wilson, Jon Lovitz, Joel McHale, and Ana Ivanovic, among others.

Behind all the fun stood a great cause and Desert Smash brought the event home with another live auction for Cancer for College. Instantly raising another $15,000 was painter Brendan Murphy, whose portrait of Ana Ivanovic sold in the form of 15 limited edition prints, signed and numbered by both the artist and Ivanovic. In addition to the Ivanovic prints, Murphy auctioned another 10 prints of both Ferrell and Djokovic within a matter of minutes, bringing his fundraising total for the week to nearly $200,000.

Brendan Murphy has studios inMalibu, CA and Brooklyn, NY. His work can be seen at

Please contact Gallery Director Jamie Alarian with inquiries at or 630.404.3655

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