A fresh, new location brought fresh, new energy to MTV Re:Define, Dallas' biggest and chicest art fundraiser of the year.
Held at the Statler Hotel downtown on March 29, the premiere Dallas exhibition and auction attracted more than 300 patrons. This year's fete was chaired by Merrill Lynch Dallas Vice President Sami Abboud, co-hosted by MTV Re:Define co-founders Joyce Goss and Kenny Goss, and honored celebrated British artist and longtime Re:Define supporter Marc Quinn.
Jonny Burt and Joe Kennedy, founders of the London-based Unit London, served as the 2019 art chairs.
A who's who of Dallasites and art patrons dressed in their finest "art chic" — including Nancy Rogers, Capera Ryan, Elizabeth Esteve, Jessica Nowitzki, Sarah Jago, Nickki St. George, William Dillon, Heidi Dillon, Chuck Steelman, Mark Deuber, and Cary Deuber — mixed and mingled at a cocktail reception that offered the first chance for close-up glimpses of the night's featured artworks (and plenty of selfies, too).
When Grand Ballroom doors opened, guests got a warm welcome from the night's emcee, Becca Dudley, multi-talented television presenter for MTV. Georgia Arnold, executive director of the MTV Staying Alive Foundation, underscored for the audience how important the work of MTV Re:Define is. To date, it had raised more than $14 million for HIV prevention through MTV Staying Alive.
“The funds raised at MTV Re:Define 2019 will go to support the programs of the MTV Staying Alive Foundation, whose mission is to ensure that young people globally are able to make informed choices about their own sexual and reproductive health," she said. "MTV Staying Alive is not only working toward an HIV-free world but is doing so by ensuring the conversation is driven by empathy, inclusion and humanity, rather than the stigma and prejudice that has been too much a part of the disease for far too long.”
Guests dined on a multicourse meal that included a delectable beef short rib and indulgent chocolate mousse for dessert. Then it was time to get down to business.
Legendary auctioneer Simon de Pury — fresh off the plane from Hong Kong — wielded his gavel for live art and luxury experiences auction. Thirty fabulous pieces and experiences were sold in three different rounds, and bidding was fierce, fast, and furious.
Among the highlights:
- Tyrrell Winston's Can’t Ignore Me Now, 2019, made of used basketballs, which sold for $10,000.
- Daniel Arsham's guitar piece Eroded Les Paul, 2019, sold for $24,000.
- Anthony James' hypnotic 24” Cube, 2019, which entranced with stainless steel, glass, and LEDs, sold for $35,000.
- A piece called All you need is love love love, 2008, donated by Tracey Emin, which was a personal art gift she received from noted artist Damien Hirst, sold for $37,000.
- Quinn's oil on canvas painting titled History Painting (Chaos) Venezuela Opposition Protest (Caracas 3 May 2017) RWCBOY, 2019, sold for $160,000.
- The showpiece of the night, Quinn's immense 3,086-pound, glass-beaded bronze sculpture measuring entitled The Archaeology of Social Networks (LPMG Algorithm Type R), 2019 sold for $450,000 (It has been on display outside of Neiman Marcus at Dallas' NorthPark Center).
In addition to the exquisite artwork, a chance to meet tennis great Rafael Nadal at the U.S. Open brought in $12,000. And a fashion week experience with luxury womenswear fashion brand Burnett New York sold for $15,000. Burnett co-founder Sterling McDavid and her mother, Stacie McDavid, were in attendance, and gowns by the fashion house were modeled by Lacey Bollinger and Tiff Taylor.
The Goss-Michael Foundation also introduced its first MTV Re:Define Award, established to recognize excellence in contemporary art by a postgraduate fine arts student. Students in their final program year from the current top 25 fine arts programs across the globe submitted their work for consideration. The winner was Shohei Katayama, an MFA candidate at Carnegie Mellon University.
After the final gavel had dropped and remarks had ended, global superstar and award-winning British singer-songwriter Rita Ora took the stage in a stunning silver "angel wing" gown to entertain with a set of high-energy hits.
Then the after-party continued into the wee hours, hosted by Giorgio’s of Los Angeles, who presented a pop-up version of their celebrity-filled nightclub. Bryan Rabin and Adam Bravin, Giorgio’s creators, flew in international DJ Aeroplane, who played the hottest disco dance hits for late-night revelers.
Spotted in the crowd, supporting the cause and having a great time throughout the night, were patrons Guillaume Coutheillas, Jonny Burt, Michael Gonsalves, Rock Patel, Linda Patel, Mark Pechersky, Julie Pechersky, Sarah Haemisegger, Cody Nguyen, Cheryl Maas, Kristie Ramirez, Rebecca Henderson, Kerry Perez, Susan Salka, Cearan Henley, Carla Johnson, Allan Knight, Masha Shapiro, Sara Hignite, Shelby Wagner, Niven Morgan, Yaaqob Davis, Rey Gamino, Mary Aboujaoude, Krystal Sarna, Jessica Shepherd, and Marvin Jackson.
When the last pennies were counted, more than $1.6 million had been raised from the evening to benefit HIV prevention and education through MTV Staying Alive Foundation and for The Goss-Michael Foundation’s commitment to arts education and awareness through its curated programming.