By Dave Carlin

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — What might be considered an unusual partnership is setting the art world on fire.

Sotheby’s Auction House and the Burning Man festival have paired up to help the event bounce back after two years of COVID-related cancellations, CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported Thursday.

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New York City and Black Rock Desert, Nevada seem worlds apart, but are bonded by the art of Burning Man.

About 200 works are up for auction, including big sculptures – free-spirited, mind-blowing art just like the legendary festival that attracts 80,000 visitors from all over the world.

“I want to grow old by the fire in this community,” said Dominic Tinio, aka D.A. of Black Rock.

One offering is a self-portrait by Tinio, a Burning Man regular for 25 years who heads its sustainability efforts.

The auction is expected to raise a million dollars.

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Our tour from Kim Cook, creative services director for Burning Man, included a wheel turned into art, a U.S. flag made out of gel caps reflecting the country’s opioid crisis, lighting that changes when you walk under it, and a piece that makes music when you cross its threshold.

“The Rocket Car,” which seats 16, is expected to fetch at least $50,000. It’s one of Burning Man’s famed mutant vehicles.

The event is being referred to as one of Sotheby’s most diverse auctions ever. The artists are getting exposure that can make their careers.

“As opposed to waiting for decades for certain artists to get a certain recognition, to get to work much more with artists who are living today,” said Harrison Tenzer, head of digital strategy for Sotheby’s.

The Burning Man philosophy encourages setting fire to art created at the festival. After seeing what some of these items fetch at auction, maybe more will make it out of the desert and into collections.

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The auction closes Saturday at 11 a.m.

Dave Carlin