NEW YORK, March 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Tumi and renowned graffiti artist John "Crash" Matos have partnered to launch the "Tumi TAG" charity auction to benefit AIDS Community Research Initiative of America (ACRIA). Launching today on Artnet.com, the auction will feature the exclusive untitled graffiti work that inspired the new Tumi TAG Limited Edition Collection. Global online bids will be accepted on Artnet.com for 14 days until bidding closes on April 5, 2011.
One hundred percent of proceeds from the auction will benefit ACRIA, a leading national HIV research and education organization, whose work helps countless tens of thousands of HIV-positive people live longer, healthier lives.
"In creating this piece, I was inspired by women's eyes and the energy of street life, in particular how this can be translated to different surfaces and textures. This was a new level of expression I was able to explore through my collaboration with Tumi," comments Crash. "This piece is particularly important to me as the auction will benefit ACRIA, an organization I have supported for some time."
John "Crash" Matos honed his vibrant aesthetic by spray-painting murals in the tough Bronx neighborhood of New York in the 1970s. He took his art to canvas in 1978, and presented his first one-man show in 1981. He has since been honored with exhibits at galleries around the world and tapped to paint the guitars of music legends Eric Clapton and John Mayer.
The Tumi TAG Limited Edition Collection features four new travel cases each showcasing a portion of Crash's explosive new work which is being auctioned. Only 1,000 pieces of each of the four styles will be produced in addition to a one-of-a-kind iPhone case. The Tumi TAG Limited Collection is available in Tumi stores across the country, and online at www.tumi.com.
"Through our collaboration with Crash, we have been able to further push the boundaries of innovative design," comments Tumi CEO Jerome Griffith. "This auction allows us to showcase Crash's vibrant distinct work that we've seen take shape in the new collection while also supporting a philanthropic cause that is important to him as well as us."
Tumi is the leading international brand of premium travel, business and lifestyle accessories. Tumi's heritage of design excellence is one that appeals to the world's most sophisticated and demanding consumers who choose only the best international brands to compliment their unique lifestyles. The brand is sold in more than 140 stores from New York to Paris to London and Tokyo, as well as the world's top department and specialty stores in more than 65 countries. Tumi's success over the past three decades can be traced to its continual focus on its founding principles of design excellence, functional superiority, technical innovation, best-in-class quality and outstanding customer service. For more about the Tumi, visit www.tumi.com.
Every day, ACRIA is leading the development of new AIDS drugs, undertaking cutting-edge research, developing HIV healthcare and treatment education materials used around the world, and strengthening AIDS organizations in New York City and across the country through our National Technical Assistance & Capacity Building program. Since 1993 ACRIA has been raising money for its life-saving work via its renowned 'Artists Responding to AIDS/UNFRAMED' fundraisers. Through artist donations, ACRIA has raised over $3.5 million for the cause to date. Additionally, ACRIA is recognized nationally as the leading authority on the issue of HIV and aging.