Computerlicious: PC Magazine Auctions Artist-Designed Laptops for Charity

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Now up for bid on eBay are HP laptops that PC Magazine commissioned nine artists and designers to give extreme makeovers — think metal, spray paint, patent leather, and (in one instance) what appear to be mounds of colorful gumballs. Proceeds from “The Computerlicious Design Experience” auction, which runs through Monday, will benefit the National Cristina Foundation, a nonprofit organization that matches donated computer equipment with needy schools and nonprofit organizations. “We wanted to work with a select yet varied group of artists that would deliver creative, fun, and exciting works of art,” PC Magazine editor-in-chief Lance Ulanoff tells us. And it’s quite a group: Shepard Fairey, fashion label DDCLAB, Paul Frank Industries, graffitist and street muralist de la Vega, handbag designer Rebecca Minkoff, Epiphany Media founder Coltrane Curtis, shoe design firm Matt Bernson Design, sculptor Peter Harper, and queen of interiors Suzan Fellman.

“The laptops had to be fully functional,” says Ulanoff. “But otherwise the designers were not limited — as you can see by the wide range of designs on the computers.” Fairey’s (current high bid: $1,150.00) has a decoupage-like flair that extends to the keyboard, while Minkoff’s (current bid: $1,525.00) comes with its own smart handbag, a laptop-sized scaling up of her wildly popular “Morning After Bag.” Fellman adorned her machine, an HP Pavilion dv6500t currently at $1,375.00, with a whimsical horse graphic that is repeated on the included carrying case. But who needs a bag with the laptop designed by Roberto Crivello and Savania Davies-Keiller of DDCLAB (now at $2,550.00)? They’ve wrapped HP’s “Dragon” laptop in handcrafted leather. The big winner so far, however, is the Paul Frank-designed machine. Plastered with the lovable face of Julius the monkey, it has climbed from a starting bid of 99 cents to its current selling price of $3,333.33.